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FOR 1914 

Three Years of Progressive Administration 

in California Under 





Preface 5 

Governor Johnson's administration, by Charles K. 
McClatchy 6 

A summary of the work of the progressive admin- 
istration 7 

The meaning of the social legislation of the progres- 
sive party of California 36 

Industrial welfare commission 38 

Commission of immigration and housing 40 

Workmen's compensation and the industrial accident 

board 45 

Work of the bureau of labor statistics 64 

Legislation for labor in the past three years 80 

Legislation for the benefit of women and children... 85 
Prisons and reform schools under the progressive 

administration 94 

The new system of taxation 102 

The state board of control 106 

Public utilities and the progressive administration — 

The railroad commission 139 

The state highway commission 175 

Work of the state harbor commission 194 

Reclamation and flood control 207 

Work of the fish and game commission 216 

Work of the state civil service commission 223 

Education and teachers, under the progressive admin- 
istration 226 

What the progressive administration has done for 
the farmer 230 

Legislation enacted in 1911 and 1913 affecting public 
health and pure food 240 


How the progressive administration has helped 
business 242 

No freak legislation has been enacted by the progres- 
sive administration 24( 

What the progressive administration has done for 
public morals . 24< 

The redlight abatement bill 251 

Hospitals for the insane reformed and modernized.. 257 

[mport&nt general legislation during Governor John- 
son's administration 260 

The alien land bill 268 

ernor Johnson's inaugural address 283 

Why the progressive party was organized in Cali- 
fornia 305 

Who is entitled to the credit for the progressive 
measures in California? 312 

Ex-Senator Beveridge on what the progressive party 
stands for 315 

Will the progressive party survive? By Peter Clark 
Macfarlane 318 


This volume is published as a campaign-book for 
the use of editors, speakers, and others supporting the 
progressive party of California in 1914. It contains 
an authentic but incomplete record of the principal 
work done by the progressive administration of Cali- 
fornia since Hiram W. Johnson became governor in 
the beginning of 1911. In those three years the state 
of California has peacefully undergone revolutionary 
changes and the story of California's thoroughgoing 
experiment with progressive and social ideas is the 
most vital one in the chronicles of the states. Of 
course this work, written by divers hands, and com- 
piled and printed within a few weeks after it was 
conceived, is not a scientific treatise on the achieve- 
ments of the administration. It is nothing more than 
a memorandum of what the progressive administra- 
tion has accomplished. No attempt has been made 
to set forth the details of such legislation as the rail- 
road commission law, the workmen's compensation 
law, the blue-sky law, or the redlight abatement bill, 
or the other important statutes to which reference is 
made. Of all these great and daring legislative enact- 
ments, none are of more intense importance to the 
nation than the purely social legislation. The great 
laws touching intimately the hours and wages of 
women and children, the law protecting the alien 
and aiding the immigrant, the brave attempt to test 
for a solution of the evil of prostitution; these are 
the works of the law-makers which the historian will 
write large across the page of the administration's 
record. The Editor. 

Feb. 1, 1914. 

"Never before in the history of California has there 
been a state administration which promised so much 
and which has kept so many of its promises. 

"Never before in the history of the state has there 
been a time when the throat of California has been 
so free from corporate clutch. 

"Never before in the history of California has there 
been a governor who has honestly, and earnestly, and 
faithfully, and conscientiously, and pugnaciously en- 
deavored to do so much for the people. 

"And never before in the annals of this golden state 
has there been a governor who has succeeded in ac- 
complishing so much. 

"No need here to recapitulate. 

"The record is before the eyes of all men. 

"Big business, the interests, the Southern Pacific, 
the grasping and greedy public-service corporations, 
the unclean and the vile in politics and in social and 
in commercial life — these no longer dominate in the 
halls of legislation. 

"The money-changers — the legions of mammon and 
of Satan — these have been lashed out of the temple of 
the people."— Sacramento "Bee," April 5, 1913. Chas. 
K. McClatchy. 


With control of the government of California re- 
stored to the people by means of the initiative, refer- 
endum and recall; with the public utility corporations 
of the state subject to just and fair regulation; with 
many specific enactments having for their object the 
placing of the human being above the dollar; with 
the commissions carrying on great constructive 
projects with admirable results; with the many de- 
partments of the state government displaying energy 
and efficiency in the handling of their respective tasks ; 
with the many state institutions modernized and in 
the hands of men of undoubted executive ability ; with 
graft, waste and extravagance eliminated, and with 
a cash surplus greater than ever before safely laid 
away in the state treasury, the progressive forces of 
this state organized as the progressive party are pre- 
pared to go before the people with an account of 
their administration of the government of California. 
The progressive administration, it is true, was elected 
under the name republican because the progressive 
party had not then a legal existence, but it was 
elected by progressives in active opposition to the 
republican party machine; by those very citizens, in- 
deed, who have since formed the progressive party, 
and the so-called republicans who controlled the re- 
publican machine supported the democratic candidate 
for the governorship in 1910 and the democratic 
candidate for the presidency in 1912. The progres- 


Summary of the Work. 

sivc party, therefore, properly claims all the credit 
for the work of Governor Johnson's administration. 


Flic accomplishments of the progressive party under 
the leadership of Governor Hiram W. Johnson will 
be urged as conclusive proof that decent government 
pays, and the records of the state will be utilized to 
contrast the results of government by the Southern 
Pacific with government by the people themselves. 

The changes instituted by the progressive adminis- 
tration have gone to the fundamental principles of 
the state government and have been probably more 
sweeping than any program of political reform ever 
carried out in any state of the union. These changes 
were in exact accord with certain definite ante-election 
statements made by Governor Johnson and endorsed 
by a large majority of the electorate. The progres- 
sive administration has carried out the mandate of the 
electorate and it remains for the people to determine 
whether the results are satisfactory. 


During the twenty-five years in which the political 
bureau of the Southern Pacific Company dominated 
the affairs of California, the agents of that corpora- 
tion encumbered the statute books with laws that 
favored big business and restricted the powers of the 
people to a minimum. Elections for the most part 
were sham battles between candidates all of whom 
were subservient to the railroad machine. The peo- 
ple were powerless, for the only method of getting 
at recalcitrant public officials was through impeach- 


Summary of the Work. 

ment by the legislature which was dominated and 
controlled by the machine. 


With these conditions existing, the first big task 
of the progressive administration was the enactment 
of legislation which would forever break the political 
grip of the big public-service corporations and would 
bring the government back to the people. The initia- 
tive, the referendum and the recall were drafted and 
Governor Johnson went before the people advocating 
their adoption as amendments to the constitution. 
These measures were approved by overwhelming 
majorities. Thus the people regained the power to 
enact or veto legislation directly without the inter- 
ference of any public official, and also the power to 
remove summarily from office any public official in- 
cluding any judge found to be corrupt or incompe- 


Supplementing the three big direct-action measures, 
there were legislative enactments providing for the 
return to the pure Australian ballot, the elimination 
of the judiciary from partisan politics, the strengthen- 
ing of the direct primary law, the submission of a 
constitutional amendment giving to women the right 
of suffrage and the election of United States senators 
by popular vote. 

All of these enactments dealt with the very funda- 
mental principles of government and were necessary 
before the people could so much as make a start 
toward managing their own affairs. They were all 


Summary of the Work. 

written into the law of the state before the first year 
of the progressive administration had expired. The 
vigorous fight made by the forces of reaction to pre- 
vent the enactment of these measures which meant 
control of the government by all of the people will 
not soon be forgotten. 

In other states and in other administrations in this 
Mate the enactment of the initiative or referendum 
alone would have been considered an accomplishment 
with which an administration could very well ask for 


After a complete triumph, the people having 
adopted every measure that Governor Johnson advo- 
cated, the progressive administration faced the fact 
that the struggle had just begun. It was true that 
the legislative enactments and constitutional amend- 
ments gave the people the power necessary to control 
their government, but the difficulty of reorganizing 
the state's affairs upon a decent and business-like 
basis was sufficient to discourage the most hopeful 
and courageous members of the administration. The 
various departments and institutions of the state pre- 
sented a discouraging spectacle. 


The railroad commission, as it had existed was 
stagnant. It had little or no power and exercised 
what it had only with the permission of the political 
bureau of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. 
The public utilities of the state were subject to no 
real control. They were at liberty to water their 


Summary of the Work. 

capital and charge the general public extortionate 
rates to pay interest and dividends. The state 
labor commissioner was a well known railroad poli- 
tician and county boss. The state board of harbor 
commissioners was practically a department of the 
railroad. The state printing office was in the hands 
of a man whose election expenses were paid by the 
contractors for paper and supplies. Three of the six 
state hospitals for the insane were havens of rest for 
political workers who knew nothing about the care of 
the insane but had rendered services to the machine. 
The two boys' reformatories were not reformatories 
at all but were preparatory schools for the peniten- 
tiaries. Folsom prison, where severe forms of cor- 
poral punishment were customary, had a hard name 
throughout the nation. The books and accounts of 
state departments and institutions had not been au- 
dited in twenty years during which something like 
$200,000,000 of the money of the people of the state 
had been expended. 


To make improvement difficult, the old machine 
had its adherents on guard in every state institution 
and department. Appointees who owed their posi- 
tions to the good-will of the old regime entertained 
no affection for the progressive administration. Nat- 
urally fearful lest their tenure be terminated or their 
perquisites be cut off they were ready to block any 
attempts to institute new methods. Desultory at- 
tempts had previously been made to eliminate poli- 
tics, corruption, waste, and extravagance from the 


Summary of the Work. 

state institutions and departments. The effort was 
wasted for the reason that each of the twenty-three 
state institutions and forty-two departments consti- 
tuted a law unto itself. The governor would have 
been able to do nothing but investigate during his 
entire four-year term unless the laws were so changed 
that the institutions and departments could be brought 
under one central control. 

The first necessary step toward improving condi- 
tions was to remove from the state service every 
employee of whatever grade who rendered allegiance 
to the Southern Pacific machine instead of to the 
people. The next to place in the strategic positions 
men of ability and integrity and sympathetic with the 
new ideals of public and social service. The legis- 
lature then conferred upon the new appointees the 
power to discharge properly the duties of their re- 
spective offices, and at the same time centralized re- 
sponsibility. When that was done, the men in office 
each in his own department, were required to demon- 
strate their fitness for the public service by rendering 
undivided allegiance to the people and by carrying out 
the duties of the office with the efficiency demanded 
by private employers. 


To bring about coordination and cooperation among 
the state departments and institutions and to estab- 
lish order and uniformity in the financial system, the 
state board of control was created and was vested 
with practically plenary power in dealing with the 
state's business affairs. The board of control faced 


Summary of the Work. 

the problem of reorganizing a business of tremendous 
proportions that had been allowed to stumble along in 
a wasteful and corrupt way for more than twenty- 

The board of control sought the cooperation of the 
reputable business houses of California, which had for 
years refused to bid for state business. Such firms 
demanded guaranties in the way of elimination of old 
abuses and the adoption of new methods. How ef- 
fectively these demands have been met within a period 
of two years and a half is fairly demonstrated by the 
fact that ninety-five per cent, of the reputable firms 
which had formerly declined to participate in the 
stated business are now regular bidders in competi- 
tion for the state's custom. Not less than seventy-five 
per cent, of these firms fought Hiram W. Johnson in 
his campaign for the governorship on the theory ad- 
vanced by the Southern Pacific political bureau that 
his radicalism would u hurt business! 3 


Within two years and a half the books and ac- 
counts of every state institution and department have 
been audited. Sixteen public officials ranging in 
grade from superintendents of state hospitals to men 
occupying minor positions have confessed to the 
board of control that they had been dishonest. They 
have restored to the state treasury the money im- 
properly taken and have been eliminated from the 
public service. These incidental features of the work 
of the board of control have unfortunately engaged 
the attention of the public to the exclusion of the 
greatly more important constructive work that has 


Summary of the Work. 

been in progress. The aim of the board has been 
to raise the public service to the same plane of ef- 
ficiency that obtains in private corporations. 


With the books and accounts of all the institutions 
and departments audited, the board of control has in- 
stalled a uniform system of accounting and subjects 
the affairs of each institution and department to a 
rigid scrutiny at frequent intervals. The old law, 
so long dead, governing competition on state con- 
tracts has been resurrected and enforced to the let- 
ter. The pure food and drug laboratory of the 
university of California has been constituted the 
judge of all foods and drugs furnished the state. 
The state engineering testing department has been 
made the judge of all other products. Not a dollar 
of the state's money is expended until the expenditure 
is approved in advance. The head of every state 
institution and department is given practically auto- 
cratic power over the internal conduct of his insti- 
tution and is held strictly responsible. No member 
of the state board of control has ever recommended 
or endorsed any man, woman, or child for any posi- 
tion in any state institution or department. Finally, 
every person doing business with the state has a 
right of appeal to the board of control should he feel 
aggrieved at any action upon the part of an institu- 
tion or department. 


The results of the transformation in the state's 
methods of doing business have been such as were 

Summary of the Work. 

to be expected. The new methods have resulted in 
saving to the state the sum of $1,500,000 per annum 
on the cost of maintaining its institutions and depart- 
ments. The state to-day buys the finest quality of 
foods, building materials and other supplies of every 
description at a lower cost than was formerly paid 
for inferior goods. There is one quality of food in 
every state institution to-day whereas formerly there 
were three, the inmates receiving the lowest grade. 
Reputable business houses throughout California look 
upon the state's business as the cleanest to be had. 
The state pays its bills promptly and gets discounts. 
The hospitals for the insane and reformative institu- 
tions, divorced from politics, have become real agen- 
cies for the benefit of the inmates, instead of costly 
havens for political roustabouts. In short, the in- 
stitutions and departments are carrying out the pur- 
poses for which they were created. 


As an adjunct to the business system installed, the 
state board of control, at the direction of Governor 
Johnson, prepared for submission to the chief execu- 
tive and the legislature the first budget in the history 
of California or of any other state in the union. This 
budget, drawn after a thorough study of the needs of 
the institutions and departments, was completed and 
printed two weeks before the convening of the 1913 
session of the legislature. For the first time in the 
history of the state the governor and legislature were 
advised in advance concerning the financial needs of 
the state and had an opportunity to act intelligently. 
Under this' system the head of every institution and 


Summary of the Work. 

department remained at his proper post throughout 
the session of the legislature instead of going to Sac- 
ramento to lobby for appropriations. Formerly, the 
recognized method of advising the legislature of the 
needs of the institutions and departments was to in- 
vite legislators to a convenient bar and there in a 
thirty-minute conversation endeavor to wheedle out 
enough money to run the people's business. 

The lead of California in adopting a state budget is 
already being followed in six other states, and Presi- 
dent Wilson is a strong supporter of the plan to install 
this system in connection with the work of making 
appropriations for the federal government. 

At the conclusion of the legislature a balance sheet 
was prepared showing the people in detail the purpose 
for which every dollar was appropriated. 


The cost of the new system to the people of Cali- 
fornia is the difference between $48,000 a year, which 
it costs to maintain the state board of control, and 
$19,000 a year which the decrepit board of examiners 
formerly cost. At a cost of $29,000 a year the sum 
of $1,500,000 a year is saved directly, and the busi- 
ness of the state is conducted upon a respectable plane. 

The state board of control not only has had to fight 
graft, waste and extravagance but also has had to deal 
with the traditional hatred of change in methods on 
the part of honest men in office. In the first six 
months of its existence the state board of control was 
termed "the wrecking crew." Governor Johnson was 
constantly advised that the board would "wreck" his 
administration. Pseudo friends of the governor, who 


Summary of the Work. 

had hoped to secure contracts, complained to the chief 
executive that they were forced to bid in competition 
with firms that had opposed the governor politically. 
In each instance he listened patiently to the complaints 
and concluded the interview by announcing that the 
particular kind of "wrecking" which was in progress 
was done not only with his knowledge but with his 
hearty approval. Two years have served to demon- 
strate fully the wisdom of Governor Johnson's course 
in demanding that modern business methods be intro- 
duced into the handling of the state's affairs. 


During that time the progressive administration has 
modernized the buildings of the six state insanity 
hospitals at a cost of $1,000,000. Additional buildings 
have been erected along modern lines at Folsom and 
San Quentin prisons and at the Preston and Whittier 
reformatories. The veterans' home and the two 
schools for the deaf and blind have been modernized 
with new structures. An additional hospital for the 
insane has been provided for at a cost of $200,000, 
and a needed training school for girls at a cost of 
$200,000. One new normal school has been com- 
pleted and another commenced at a cost of $275,000 
and provision made for a third one which will give 
the state eight in all. 


At an outlay of more than $1,000,000 the agricul- 
tural college of the university of California has been 
brought up to date and its work made directly ser- 
viceable to the people. It now ranks with the fore- 


Summary of the Work. 

most in the United States. The regular biennial 
appropriation for the university has been increased by 
$400,000. Adequate provision has been made for 
such important new departments as the railroad com- 
mission, the industrial accident board, the enlarged 
labor bureau, the board of control, the minimum wage 
commission, the immigration commission, and the 
bureau of weights and measures. An adequate system 
of school teachers' pensions has been inaugurated 
and a substantial advance in the care of widowed 
mothers has been made. Established state highways, 
not included in the $18,000,000 system, have been 
improved, lengthened and maintained. The state has 
given $750,000 towards the improvement of her rivers. 
By a guaranty of $500,000 the administration has 
assured the sale of $9,000,000 of San Francisco harbor 
bonds and the completion of the tremendous project 
of new concrete wharves. The greatest growth in 
the history of the normal schools, hospitals and 
prisons has been met in accordance with the most 
advanced and humane ideas. 


This outline shows briefly the most important con- 
structive acts of the progressive administration. The 
next consideration is the cost of this tremendous 

The records show that the average biennial increase 
in appropriations under administrations preceding 
Governor Johnson was 20.7 per cent. The increase 
under Governor Johnson, including both biennial 
periods, is 15.6 per cent. It is also a significant fact 
that not one dollar of the increase under Governor 


Summary of the Work. 

Johnston came from the general public, but it all fell 
upon the corporations exclusively. 

The most significant fact of all, however, is that 
on the first of February, 1914, there was lying in the 
state treasury over and above all appropriations a 
cash surplus of approximately $3,800,000 — the largest 
surplus in the history of California. 

These facts summarized mean, that the progressive 
administration with the smallest increase in expendi- 
tures in the history of the state has met the largest 
increase in departments and institutions — has done it 
efficiently and humanely, and has rolled up a record 
surplus in cash in the state treasury. 

The affairs of California are in such shape to-day 
that Governor Johnson can have laid before him in 
forty-eight hours a complete financial statement of 
all the business of all the state institutions and de- 
partments, showing the amount expended to date from 
each and every appropriation; showing what was ac- 
complished with each dollar expended, and showing 
every dollar collected by the state. 

This demonstrates rather conclusively that decent 
government pays. 


But the greatest accomplishment of the progressive 
administration was the enactment of the public 
utilities act. This law with its subsequent amend- 
ments, enacted at a special session of the leg- 
islature, has been recognized throughout the United 
States as the best piece of regulatory legislation of 
the character ever enacted in this country. The 
signing of this law by Governor Johnson was hailed 


Summary of the Work. 

with joy throughout California. It meant to the big 
and small shipper and to the people the passing of the 
arrogant reign of the Southern Pacific, during which 
time the public had to pay the rate demanded and 
accept the service offered by the railroad. 

The administration of* this law was placed in the 
hands of the newly elected and enlarged railroad 
commission headed by John M. Eshleman, now the 
progressive candidate for lieutenant-governor. The 
enforcement of this one law alone has meant an 
annual saving — not a saving for one year but for 
each year to come — of not less than $6,000,000 to 
the people of California. In less than three years the 
railroad commission has reduced the rates of rail- 
road, express, telephone, water and other public utility 
corporations so that the aggregate reductions per 
annum represent $6,000,000. The entire cost of main- 
taining the commission is $250,000 a year. 

It is a significant fact that in the first year of its 
existence the railroad commission heard and decided 
more cases than were filed with previous railroad 
commissions in twenty-five years. 


The saving in money to the people of the state, 
however, has not been the only concern of the com- 
mission. It has demanded from every public utility 
corporation proper service in return for the money 
paid by the people. The rulings of the commission 
have marked the passing of the era when the com- 
plaint of the small householder or of the commuter 
was ignored with complacency. To-day any citizen 
of California can have any grievance against a public 


Summary of the Work. 

utility corporation that is subject to the commission s 
jurisdiction adjusted by the simple process of writing 
a letter to the state railroad commission. The entire 
cost to a citizen is a two-cent stamp. 

It might be imagined that the accomplishments of 
the railroad commission came about through the use 
of ruthless methods and the sacrificing of all the rights 
of the corporations. That this is not the fact is at- 
tested by the actions of the corporations themselves 
in accepting the reductions made as just and fair in 
the vast majority of cases. It is also a significant 
fact that since the commission took cognizance of 
the need for better service practically all of the cor- 
porations have established complaint departments 
where the grievances of consumers receive prompt 
attention. The corporation managers do not want 
to be called to time by the commission. The reason 
for this is that the corporation manager does not want 
a record of inefficiency scored against him when his 
company applies to the commission for permission to 
sell additional securities. 

The story of the California railroad commission is 
one that should be known to every man, woman and 
child in California ; and it has been fully set forth in 
another part of this volume. The commission's ac- 
complishments benefit directly every inhabitant of 
the state, and demonstrate the fitness of the people 
to govern themselves. This commission, not yet 
three years old, stands out to-day as next in im- 
portance in the United States to the interstate com- 
merce commission. 

If the record of the progressive administration con- 


Summary of the Work. 

tained nothing further than the story of the railroad 
commission, the party would be able to face the 
people with a record of achievement not even approxi- 
mated by any previous administration. 

Had Governor Johnson stopped at this point he 
would have accomplished enough according to the old 
standards of public life and efficiency in government. 
But he was alive to those new ideas of social service 
which are quickening the nation ; and the progressive 
administration prepared a remarkable schedule of 
social legislation the enactment of which has brought 
California ahead of the other states of the union and 
almost abreast with the most enlightened countries of 
Europe. The state of California has taken cognizance 
of those economic changes which occurred in industry 
in the last two decades, and has faced the facts with 
intelligence and courage. The next generation will 
have cause to thank Governor Johnson for the far- 
sighted statesmanship that has disarmed social and 
economic revolution by anticipating it. 


Governor Johnson found in the office of state labor 
commissioner, a politician who was the Southern 
Pacific boss of Santa Clara county. He needed no 
evidence to convince him of the undesirability of 
such a man in such a position. The workers of the 
state had for years labored and pleaded for the estab- 
lishment of a state department to look after their 
interests. An excellent law had been enacted during 
the old regime, after a bitter fight. The machine then 
frustrated the law by placing the enforcement of it in 
the hands of a man who was totally unsympathetic. 


Summary of the Work. 

Governor Johnson appointed as labor commissioner 
John P. McLaughlin, a man in whom all the laboring 
people of the state have the highest confidence. 


In three years under McLaughlin's administration 
the labor bureau has risen to a position of the greatest 
importance. This department has honestly and fairly 
enforced the eight-hour law for women. It was pre- 
dicted that ruin and bankruptcy would follow the 
enactment of the eight-hour law for women. The 
law has been not only of vast benefit to the worker, 
but it has resulted in increased efficiency for the 
employer with no loss of money. 


The labor bureau has also been charged with the 
enforcement of a series of child-labor laws, designed 
and enacted by the progressive administration for 
the protection of the young of the state. This pro- 
gressive legislation, more advanced than that of any 
state in the union, has resulted in no injustice to the 
employer and great good to the children. The chil- 
dren are in school and the work is better accom- 
plished by adults. 

Perhaps the greatest achievement of the labor 
bureau, however, have been in the field of collecting 
wages from dishonest employers. Formerly the dis- 
honest employer made employees wait many months 
for pitifully small wages that were needed to keep 
body and soul together. The laborer was helpless be- 
cause of the fact that he had no money with which to 
hire a lawyer. The record shows that up to the be- 


Summary of the Work. 

ginning of this year, 8277 claims for wages were 
filed with the bureau and investigated. The bureau 
succeeded in settling out of court 5,164 cases in which 
$91,812.04 was paid to the claimants. In those cases 
whore the demands of the claimants against employers 
were unjust they were disallowed. 

Finally, the state labor bureau maintains a strict 
supervision over all employment agencies. Many of 
these establishments had for years fattened on unjust 
sums extorted from employees for whom they secured 


The California workmen's compensation act, passed 
at the 1913 session of the legislature, is the most 
advanced piece of legislation of its kind in the United 
States. It requires that all employers of labor shall 
insure against accidents to their employees, and that 
adequate compensation shall be paid to the injured 
workman or to his widow and children if he be killed. 
The cost of the accident is charged to the industry 
instead of to the injured workman, the widow, and 
the orphan who were the least able to stand it; and 
the industry passes the burden to the insurance com- 
panies, as it does the burden of fire losses. 

The employer is protected from unjust insurance 
rates by the establishment of the state insurance fund 
with the credit of the state behind it. 

The administration of this law is placed in the 
hands of a commission composed of Harris Weinstock, 
one of California's largest employers, Will J. French, 
one of the state's foremost labor leaders, and A. L. 


Summary of the Work. 

Pillsbury, a man whose study of economic problems 
has marked him as an authority. 


To study conditions of employment and fix a living 
wage for the persons engaged in any particular in- 
dustry is the work outlined for a commission created 
by the 1913 session of the legislature. The commis- 
sion is composed of Albert Bonnheim and F. B. 
Dohrmann, two of California's leading merchants; 
Arthur Matheson and Mrs. Katherine Philips Edson, 
representatives of the employees, and Judge Frank J. 
Murasky of the Superior Court of San Francisco. 


New York state is facing, dismayed and hopeless, 
an immigration assimilation problem beyond even her 
great wealth and strength. The immigrant there, 
through exploitation, abuse, unemployment, sweat 
house labor, commercialized vice, has in great measure 
failed either to live into the American institutions, or 
transplant into America his own fine European tra- 
ditions of citizenship. His position, social and politi- 
cal, in the east is a dreadful and unnecessary waste, 
and to this waste must be added the later developing 
labor unrest, delinquency and the criminality of the 
second-generation alien. This fearful social blunder 
California is determined to avoid. The immigration 
commission will draw to the state's service the finest 
technical brains which the west affords and the 
study and analysis of the problem will be, in the 
fullest sense, final and fundamental. Once in posses- 
sion of this standardization of the problem, the com- 


Summary of the Work. 

mission can face confidently the alien flood which ex- 
perts predict will begin with the opening of the canal. 
The new-comers will be protected, aided, assimilated 
and, according to the plans resulting from the great 
federal study of 1910, distributed where their efficiency 
will bring to themselves and the state the greatest 
measure of material benefit. No social, moral or 
material phase of the immigration problem will be 
neglected by the commission. This creation by the 
progressives of a commission whose work is almost 
entirely at first preventive, shows in the fullest man- 
ner the foresight and courage of a party which is will- 
ing to assume the heavy material cost of preparing 
in advance for the problem which, if allowed to 
come unprepared-for could mean a similar disastrous 
social burden to that borne to-day by the far east. 


The manner in which the project of constructing 
a state highway system at a cost of $18,000,000 has 
been handled, aptly illustrates the method employed 
by Governor Johnson in dealing with the great tasks 
facing him as chief executive. He appointed Burton 
A. Towne, N. D. Darlington and Charles D. Blaney 
as a commission at a nominal salary to supervise the 
work. All three of these men had achieved success in 
their respective professions. Towne is one of the 
most successful ranchers of the state, Blaney a capi- 
talist and man of large affairs, and Darlington a lead- 
ing member of the engineering profession. Mr. 
Towne recently resigned and his place has been taken 
by Mr. Charles F. Stern, whose appointment is recog- 
nized as conspicuously fit. 


Summary of the Work. 

With infinite labor these men decided upon the 
routes to be traversed, keeping before them only the 
general welfare of the state. Their decisions fre- 
quently involved very acrimonious rivalries between 
towns, and groups of towns, favoring different routes, 
and it is highly creditable to the commission that its 
work has left so little ill-will. Approximately 2000 
miles of the state highway have been surveyed and 
specifications for the work prepared. Much construc- 
tion has been completed. 

Austin B. Fletcher, selected as chief engineer, was 
vested with autocratic authority over all employees of 
the department. Of 305 employees in the engineering 
and administrative department, 302 were selected by 
Fletcher after having made application without politi- 
cal endorsement. The three employees not selected 
by Fletcher were the secretary, attorney and stenog- 
rapher of the commission. 

The administrative cost of this project will be 
smaller than that of any similar project ever under- 
taken by a state government in so far as the records 


One of California's greatest assets, San Francisco 
bay, was found by Governor Johnson to have been 
converted into an asset of the Southern Pacific Rail- 
road Company. This was brought about through the 
instrumentality of a state board of harbor commis- 
sioners that was amenable to the corporation which 
dominated the political affairs of the state. Indeed, 
the fixing of the rents that were charged to the trans- 
portation companies for the use of state property 


Summary of the Work. 

was actually done under the old regime by an agent 
of the Southern Pacific and the rents were not too 
high. The new administration has raised these rents 
to a fair amount, determined by real estate experts. 
The state now receives from the railroads, $137,000 
more per annum than it did formerly for the use of 
the ferry building. 

The chief wharfinger was a former politician 
from Tuolumne who was rewarded with the place 
for his services to the machine at the Santa Cruz 
convention. To-day, the chief wharfinger is a man 
whose knowledge of shipping and whose efficiency 
are freely conceded by opponents of the progressive 

The administration of the present harbor board has 
resulted in a reduction of dockage charges to shippers 
by ten per cent., and an increase in the harbor revenue 
of more than 15 per cent. 

Investigation shows that wharf construction under 
former administrations which was supposed to be 
permanent was defective through the use of inferior 
concrete and piles, and general mismanagement. The 
result was that the harbor was without sufficient 
wharf facilities and the business of the harbor suf- 

Governor Johnson displaced the Southern Pacific 
commissioners as their terms expired, and installed 
a commission which guaranteed to all railroads and 
all steamship lines an absolutely fair deal. This com- 
mission then undertook the project of constructing 
$9,000,000 worth of new wharves and other aids to 
shipping on the San Francisco water front. 


Summary of the Work. 

The work of construction has been hurried forward 
as rapidly as was consistent with good workmanship, 
and by the time of the opening of the Panama-Pacific 
Exposition San Francisco harbor will offer to foreign 
ships the privilege of docking at immense concrete 
wharves that will equal any construction in the United 
States or Europe. 


Although the progressive legislature of 1911 and 
1913 contained few members who represented labor 
in any narrow or class sense, it is admitted by the 
labor organizations and their leaders that the pro- 
gressive administration has granted every just demand 
of the workers and has enacted much enlightened 
legislation designed to improve the conditions of both 
organized and unorganized labor. Moreover, the 
bureau of labor statistics under the progressive admin- 
istration has enforced diligently and sympathetically 
the labor laws. This subject has been more fully 
dealt with elsewhere in this book. 


California, under the progressive administration, 
has made liberal appropriations for the Panama-Pa- 
cific international exposition and also for the very 
important exposition to be held at San Diego. When 
the votes of the progressive members of congress 
were needed to bring the Panama-Pacific exposition 
to San Francisco, Governor Johnson went to Wash- 
ington at his personal expense and secured the sup- 
port of practically all the progressives in both houses 
of congress. 


Summary of the Work. 


One circumstance, of minor importance in itself, 
but nevertheless conspicuous, which indicates the new 
spirit and the new method in the administration of the 
affairs of California, is the change that has taken 
place in the management of the state capitol building 
and grounds. Before the election of Governor John- 
son there was a capitol commission, consisting of the 
governor, secretary of state and state treasurer. 
There were twelve employees on the grounds, each of 
the commissioners selecting four and, of course, each 
four were independent of the other eight, and all were 
politicians, relying on their pull, and careless of their 
work. In consequence, the grounds were neglected. 
The progressive administration abolished the capitol 
commission and created a superintendent of build- 
ings and grounds, who is held wholly responsible. 
The chief gardener is a gardener selected solely be- 
cause of his skill. All Sacramento, and every visitor 
to the capitol admits, that the capitol and its grounds 
have never been in such excellent condition as they 
are under the existing regime. 


The progressive administration, representing the 
great agricultural interest and, indeed, the entire popu- 
lation of California, deemed that the preservation of 
our soil from alien ownership, and the protection of 
our people from a terrible and impending race prob- 
lem, were of infinitely greater importance than any 
of the considerations urged against the alien land act. 
California has protected her soil and her people, pre- 


Summary of the Work. 

cisely as Japan protects her soil and her people, 
without invidiousness on either side. There was no 
affront to Japan; but, as Governor Johnson said to 
Secretary Bryan at the joint session of both houses 
of the legislature, the question was not whether Japan 
would be offended, but whether Japan would be 
justly offended. 


The legislative accomplishment of the progressive 
administration v/as many-sided and the main items 
of it are more fully set forth in this volume under 
other heads. It is sufficient, therefore, in this sum- 
ming-up of three years of progressive administration 
to refer, without detail, to such measures, for the 
protection of the public against fraud and plunder, as 
the conservation bill, the blue-sky law, the net-con- 
tainer act, the weights-and-measures act, the pure- 
food statutes, and the tenement-house law; to such 
measures for the protection of the weak as the old- 
age insurance law, the mothers'-pension law, the pro- 
vision of pensions for teachers, the minimum-wage 
act, and the various measures for the reformation 
of prisons and prisoners; to such measures for the 
improvement of public morals as the abolition of 
racetrack gambling (by itself a monumental achieve- 
ment), the suppression of the slot machines, the local 
option law, the law requiring all barrooms to be closed 
between 2 and 6 a. m., and the redlight abatement 
law which is intended to make prostitution commer- 
cially unprofitable to the men that have hitherto ex- 
tended, stimulated and commercialized the business 


Summary of the Work. 

for the huge gains that it offered; and to such meas- 
ures of general character as the free-text-book 
statute, the civil service law covering practically all 
employees of the state government, the tax-reform 
laws which place the collection of the state's revenue 
on a footing of justice and scientific correctness, the 
creation of a commission for the study of rural credits 
which, it is hoped, will lighten the financial burdens of 
the farmer; and the establishment of a commission, 
with a liberal appropriation, to solve, as one problem, 
the flood situation in the Sacramento and San Joaquin 

The progressive administration of California, which 
is now before the people for their judgment, is con- 
tent to be judged by what it has done. The pro- 
gressive party of California has done everything that 
it promised to do; and much beside. It has com- 
pletely removed the Southern Pacific Railroad Com- 
pany from the political control of California and by 
such measures as the initiative, the referendum, the 
recall, the civil service, the grant of the suffrage to 
women, the direct primary, and the election of United 
States senators by the direct vote of the people, has 
rendered it exceedingly difficult for the railroad 
machine to regain, or, if regained, to keep for any 
length of time, the power that it so long possessed. 
The progressive party has eliminated waste and graft, 
and brought about efficiency and order in all the de- 
partments and institutions and in the financial sys- 
tem of the state. 


Summary of the Work. 


The progressive administration has brought Cali- 
fornia from darkness into light by a comprehensive 
scheme of social reform — exalting manhood above 
property, recognizing the changes that have taken 
place in the relation of the worker to his trade, 
taking note of the breakdown of the stern individual- 
ism of the last century, and emphasizing the obliga- 
tion of the community to protect the weak against 
the strong; but all with common sense and without 
running to fads or isms. The farmers, the workers in 
the cities, whether organized or not, the schools, the 
interests of business, have had their rights protected 
and their needs served by the progressive adminis- 
tration. All this has been done without unnecessary 
or alarming agitation. And there has been no 
heckling of the great corporations for political pur- 
poses. Notwithstanding the radical and almost revo- 
lutionary changes that have occurred, during the last 
three years in California, in the relation of the com- 
munity to public-service corporations and "big busi- 
ness," the railroads and other great corporations are 
forced to concede that the progressive administration, 
and particularly that part of it, the railroad com- 
mission, with which they have most to do, has been 
just and wise in its dealing with them. Of course, 
corporation men that were trained in the old school, 
and recall the halcyon days when Mark Hanna domi- 
nated the nation, are not reconciled to the new ideas 
or the new methods ; but the new generation of cor- 
poration managers perceive that we have come upon 
other times, that the public has become the para- 
2 33 

Summary of the Work. 

mount partner in all enterprises that use the public 
property, and that the world will not turn back- 
ward. Such corporation men are glad that the great 
change has occurred under an administration led by 
such men as Governor Johnson, and Commissioner 
John M. Eshleman. 


To the great work of the progressive administra- 
tion in California many men and women have con- 
tributed. But all these men and women, from the 
south and from the north, have looked and still look 
with one accord to Hiram W. Johnson for leader- 
ship. In days of doubt, he saw the way clearly. In 
days of conflict, he led the fight with skill and most 
indomitable courage. In days of gloom and depres- 
sion — and such days came — he gave heart and hope 
and vision to the despondent and the faint. Others 
made sacrifices, but he made the greatest sacrifice. 
Others stood the fire bravely, and endured without 
flinching to be belied and misunderstood; but on 
him were concentrated all the batteries of the enemies 
of the people, and on him the reactionary press cen- 
tered its vilest calumny. He never failed or fal- 
tered in any situation; not when his own friends 
were pressing him to be less than thorough in his 
work of restoring the government to the people; not 
when the federal government, the misinformed press 
of the nation, and many of our own people were 
urging him to temporize on the alien land ownership 
question and threatening to hold him responsible for 
plunging his country into the war that did not hap- 


Summary of the Work. 

pen; not when self-interest and party-loyalty pleaded 
with him to refrain from leading the great secession 
at Chicago; not in any of the soul-trying crises that 
have marked his administration. And always, and 
in every situation, Governor Johnson has spoken his 
own mind and has been his own master. 



The purely social legislation of the Johnson ad- 
ministration, i. e., workmen's compensation, mini- 
mum wage commission, immigration commission, is 
the single, clear, courageous realization of the vitally 
new status that American industrial life has assumed, 
that can be found anywhere among the states. It is 
an almost humorously cruel truth that the old parties 
in this state and in the nation continue to claim the 
existence of an industrial status which every great 
authority acknowledges disappeared finally in the 
period of the 90's, following the panic of '93. 

These two parties continue to say today that Amer- 
ica is the land of fine and equal industrial oppor- 
tunity; that our laborers are the business men of 
tomorrow, and that the self-centered and careless 
individualism of our fathers is sufficient for us and 
ours. This is, even in the language of those dense 
persons, the economists, "a cruel and heartless jest." 
What has been soberly called "the modern industrial 
misery" showed itself first in the depression and the 
bread lines of the dark days of the 90's, and the 
unrest which at times convulses industrial states and 
which every moment exists as a live threat, comes 
from and has its being in concrete, statistically studied 
and proven misery. 

A deep reaching change in the very foundations of 
the nation had come. The indignant and bitter de- 
mands of the American labor world then and now are 


Meaning of the Social Legislation. 

alone stimulated by the refusal of social reactionaries 
to recognize this fundamental change in industrial 
life, which change, as every student of politics knows, 
Europe had recorded numberless times in the great 
social legislation of her 80's. 

The progressive social legislation in California is a 
fine attempt to force careless America to assume all 
too tardily her plain and imperative social responsi- 
bilities. Any attempt to designate this California 
legislation "nagging," "harmful," "bad for business" 
or "injurious to California's competitive ability" is 
the tiresome and familiar attempt to keep contempla- 
tion on superficial self-interest and block wise and 
humane foresight. 

A second viewpoint is that it will be foolishly dan- 
gerous to meet this growing and fundamentally 
menacing labor demand by a reactionary refusal. 
Roosevelt showed his almost uncanny political in- 
stinct when he claimed that he was in reality the best 
friend that capitalistic enterprise in America had, 
because he would meet and satisfy these new and 
radical demands of the laboring world and thereby 
save the great foundations of our industrial institu- 
tions. "The alleged friends of business," he proph- 
esied, "would block the demands and then go down 
bewildered in the inevitable crash." To quote a 
thought from J. R. Commons, the greatest living 
authority on American labor, "Quibble and do nothing 
to meet the labor unrest and in one generation the 
United States will be caught up in a bloody revolu- 


Meaning of the Social Legislation. 

It seems curious that the progressive party in Cali- 
fornia, standing as it does in this dual character of 
both a grave assumer of these vital social responsi- 
bilities, and also a far-sighted warder-off of a dan- 
gerous unrest and possible nation-wide labor riot, 
should be attacked first by capitalistic production 
standing in this danger, and secondly, unappreciated 
by those who openly and smugly profess social hope 
and interest. 

The material evidence of this lone battle of Johnson 
and the progressives against social danger and apathy 
is shown in the plain unadorned program of the fol- 
lowing commissions: 


The industrial welfare commission should be called 
the "minimum wage commission." This commission 
is more than the cleanser of the dozen sweated indus- 
tries of the state; more than a police power to turn 
an underpaid, underfed, unhappy child worker into 
our vaunted California child-type. The commission is 
vital to California because it will stop the founding 
of those New York type immigrant-using industries 
which, to exact information, are known to be today 
watching for the flood of immigrants from the canal. 
Let the state persist in passivity and allow the mass 
of moneyless Europeans freedom to sell their labor 
limited in its price alone by their known dire need, 
and our own state will step beside New York as the 
possessor of an industrial life which cripples and kills, 
harbors disease and misery, creates conditions which 
make normal, commercialized vice and perverted 


Industrial Welfare Commission. 

practices, and which will finally rot our politics and 
taint the entire state. There is no language dismay- 
ing and violent enough to even soberly describe the 
conditions of unrestricted industrialism shown by the 
great Chicago and New York vice commissions' re- 

The old argument that a wage below the normal, 
pressing cost of human up-keep remains the great 
cause of almost all the degradation seen in an indus- 
trial community, has been resubstantiated by the dozen 
great state and federal investigations since 1907. It 
is argued that California's conditions are not danger- 
ous ; that only 40 per cent, of the employed women 
and girls receive less than $9.00 a week. But if only 
40 per cent, of these weaker workers are trying to 
maintain a pitiful dignity and hungry bodies on $4 or 
$5 or $6 a week, is not the problem vital? The 
industrial w r elfare commission must learn just the 
exact measure of human misery and social danger that 
this abnormal wage for the 40 per cent, spells for the 
state. It must decide at what wage a woman or girl 
can live in every sense which the word "live" means. 
The hours of work have been settled for women by 
the great 8-hour law and the twin problems of wage 
and sanitation and safety remain to this new commis- 
sion. No matter how justly proud California rightly 
is of the proven humanity of the state's employers, 
there always remains the vicious and cold minority 
and the welfare commission is for them. Not only 
will the commission protect the women and girls 
through uniform laws, but these very laws, because 


Industrial Welfare Commission. 

they are uniform, protect the humane majority from 
the wage-cutting, women-exploiting, minority. The 
cry that California industries will, because of this 
burden, fall in competition is silenced when it is 
mentioned that our competitors in our isolated Pacific 
empire, Washington and Oregon, both live under the 
rule of identical wage commissions. There can be no 
emphasis too strong in condemnation of low sweating 
wages for women and girls. It insures the driving 
out of men from the industries by women, the de- 
basing of the industrial status of the family, the 
spread of a lower standard of life which alone can 
live on the debased wages and in the end the turning 
of weakened, undernourished women to prostitution, 
the men first to wandering casual labor, and later to 
recruit the vagrant class. The rise of parasitic in- 
dustries living alone on the slowly sinking labor class 
in a city is the herald of not only the rise of small 
criminality, but the even more fatal condition of 
deep-reaching political corruption. These industries, 
never paying their social cost, are in every accurate 
sense a parasitic growth upon a decaying industrial 

The welfare commission will come before the state 
to ask for an important aiding amendment this fall, 
and it will be a conscienceless voter who will deny it. 


Why did Hiram W. Johnson and the progressive 
party create the commission of immigration and hous- 
ing of California? 

First: because the fatal failure of the eastern 


Commission of Immigration and Housing. 

states to even begin the solution of the immigration 
problem is now in these last ten years fully and bit- 
terly realized. New York and Chicago's municipal po- 
litical corruption, the vicious rise of commercialized vice 
and the exploitation of aliens, the creation of a per- 
manent tuberculosis infection center in the alien tene- 
ment district, the menacing increase in criminality 
among the children of aliens, the hideous social and 
economic degradation found and minutely studied by 
the federal government among the immigrant workers 
in New York's and Chicago's sweated industries ; all 
these burdens go back to careless, criminal adminis- 
tration indifference and shallow statesmanship. 

The fact that this problem puts a premium on ad- 
ministrative courage and opens the party pressing 
a creative program to the attack that they are wasteful 
dreamers, seems never to have occurred to Johnson. 
One great difficulty will be for even true progressives 
to read the great meaning of this fine, brave, slow-to- 
mature social venture which is bound up in the crea- 
tion of the immigration commission. Mary Mc- 
Dowell, a great woman of national reputation, 
twenty-one years in the service in the most congested 
center of Chicago, said with deep feeling, in reference 
to the California immigration commission : "Hiram 
Johnson and his party have that, Oh, so sadly rare 
character, that of social vision, coupled with a cold 
business determination and courage to put it through 
to the last and final application." 

California has that rare opportunity of being able 
to prepare before the immigrant flood comes. There 


Commission of Immigration and Housing. 

will be no need of a repetition of the sad New York 
story. You may ask: Is there an immigration prob- 
lem now, or the beginnings of a problem? Yes, 
there is. The commission is but two months old, but 
a careful investigation of the field has been made. 
This is the result: 

A. Immigrants are robbed and exploited and girls 
stolen in various parts of the state. Immigrant moth- 
ers with little children are taken merely into the 
foreign quarter and there overcharged and dumped 
into the street. This may happen near an immigrant 
hotel, or blocks from one; in stormy weather or clear. 

B. The immigrant lodging houses of California 
are to practically 100 per cent, dirty, foul, infectious, 
and morally dangerous. They represent the products 
of an unlicensed, unregulated trade which with this 
inattention gave New York its gravest problem. 

C. The living conditions of labor camps, whether 
found on construction jobs, at the hop-field, at can- 
neries, fruit orchards or in lumber camps, in Califor- 
nia, are with small exception hygienically deplorable. 
They are a fruitful cause of labor trouble and agita- 
tion ; the Wheatland hop-pickers murders being the 
direct result of intolerable camp sanitation. This 
brings out clearly a grave danger to California. If 
living conditions among the camps in this coming 
summer are not bettered, the I. W. W. promises to 
"tie up" the state, and there is fundamental evidence 
that this is not an idle threat. The labor camp 
housing and sanitary conditions must be bettered. 

D. The condition of tenement houses in San Fran- 

Commission of Immigration and Housing. 

cisco and Los Angeles is deplorable. The tenement 
house act itself is being fairly well obeyed, but the 
conditions of sanitation and crowding are a disgrace 
and a danger to the state. Old tenements erected 
before the passage of the new law violate in every 
detail the new standard. A vast number of these 
should and will be condemned. It might be men- 
tioned that however distressing these conditions are 
now, they will be manifoldly worse if a sudden flood 
of aliens land next year in the city. 

E. It has been established that the menace of 
organized white slavery is in San Francisco, and that 
the coast after the opening of the Panama canal will 
stand in the identical danger which prompted the 
Chicago vice commission report to say: "In the end 
prostitution is an immigrant question. " 

F. Shyster lawyers have long reaped a harvest in 
San Francisco and Los Angeles among aliens. The 
immigration commission has within the two months 
secured convictions under criminal charges in cases 
of this kind; restitution of stolen money has been 
forced and disbarment proceedings instituted. This is 
a field demanding immediate attention. 

G. A study has been made of the advertising 
methods of agricultural land companies, coupled with 
an investigation by the state university land experts 
of the self-evident over-valuation of certain projects. 
The results of this work are so sensational that it will 
be necessary to check up the first data. This real 
fraud injures numberless trusting alien investors and 
can only be in the end morally and financially in- 
jurious for the state. d9 

J 43 

Commission of Immigration and Housing. 

H. A sincere attempt will be made to begin the 
analysis of unemployment by examining the agricul- 
tural and industrial opportunities for unskilled labor 
in, or to be in, the state. This is the single way to 
decide whether a surplus labor supply is permanent or 

New powers that are needed for the immigration 
and housing commission : 

1. To enforce the decisions of the state board of 
health regarding labor camp sanitation. 

2. As a state commission on housing, to enforce 
in co-operation with municipal health boards, the 
state tenement house act of 1911, and to condemn 
unsanitary buildings unfit for human habitation. 

3. As a parallel power to that given the New 
York bureau of immigration, the commission desires 
power to license lodging houses in the state which are 
used by immigrants, the license being obtained only 
when the proper standard of sanitation is proved. 

4. Wishes strict laws covering the seduction of 
women which will protect the immigrant girls in 
transit and at depots. 






Few laws in California aroused the interest that 
followed in the wake of the employers' liability 
act, which became effective on the first day of 
September, 1911, but which has since been super- 
seded by the workmen's compensation, insurance and 
safety act which went into effect January 1, 1914. 
It revolutionized the relations heretofore existing be- 
tween employers and employees. The period of 
transition from the old to the new method of treating 
those injured while engaged in industry, and of pro- 
viding for the dependents of those killed, has resulted 
in a demand upon the best thought of the people of 
the state for a solution of the problems presented. 


That there is a pronounced opinion in California 
in favor of a change from employers' liability to 
workmen's compensation is evidenced by the vote 
on October 10, 1911, when proposed amendments to 
the state constitution were submitted to the people. 
By a vote of 147,567 for, to 65,255 against (a ma- 
jority of 82,312), this section was added to Arti- 
cle XX: 

"The legislature may by appropriate legislation 
create and enforce a liability on the part of all em- 
ployers to compensate their employees for any injury 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

incurred by the said employees in the course of their 
employment irrespective of the fault of either party. 
The legislature may provide for the settlement of any 
disputes arising under the legislation contemplated by 
this section, by arbitration, or by an industrial acci- 
dent board, by the courts, or by either, any or all of 
these agencies, anything in this constitution to the 
contrary notwithstanding/' 

Thus the progressive administration received an 
emphatic mandate from the people to enact the com- 
pensation, insurance and safety legislation which 
went into effect at the beginning of this year. 


President Woodrow Wilson was responsible for 
the enactment of New Jersey's workmen's compen- 
sation law and he has repeatedly urged the adoption 
of such legislation, and his latest book, "A New 
Freedom," says it is our duty to "humanize indus- 
try." While governor of New Jersey, Mr. Wilson 
said in September, 1911, while addressing a govern- 
ors' conference, and discussing insurance for the 
compensation risk: "I started a scrap yesterday; I 
don't know that I want to start another one." This 
expression shows how earnest the President was, and 
is, in behalf of substituting for liability the system 
of workmen's compensation, and providing for ade- 
quate insurance facilities for employers. 

Ex-President W. H. Taft is an ardent supporter 
of workmen's compensation and his messages to con- 
gress teem with references in support of his belief. 
He declares that perjured testimony, emotional juries 
and badly-constructed laws limiting liability have 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

tended to hamper the administration of exact justice, 
while the heavy expense of litigation has rendered it 
almost impossible for the poor man to command his 
rights. On April 27, 1912, President Taft said: 
"I should like to see a genuine revision of the tariff, 
substantial financial and currency revision, and the 
enactment of a workmen's compensation bill. Of the 
three I consider the last of vital necessity and national 
importance. Although not affecting so many people 
as the tariff, or possibly currency reform, it touches 
the very foundations of our prosperity and content- 
ment — harmonious and cordial relations between cap- 
ital and labor. Any law aimed at bettering condi- 
tions between labor and capital ought to be free from 
political bias, and there ought to be no injection of 
politics. Man to-day is injured through the inherent 
dangers of industry, and the basis of compensation 
ought to be changed to make a risk of industry itself, 
so that the liability will follow from the fact of 

Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt said in his 
presidential message in 1908: "It is a matter of 
humiliation to the nation that there should not be 
on our statute books a provision to meet and partially 
atone for cruel misfortune when it comes upon a 
man through no fault of his own while faithfully 
serving the public. In no other permanent industrial 
country in the world could such gross injustice occur; 
for almost all civilized nations have enacted legisla- 
tion embodying the complete recognition of the princi- 
ple which places the entire trade risk for industrial 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

accidents (excluding, of course, accidents due to 
wilful misconduct by the employee) on the industry 
as represented by the employer." 


The New York court of appeals has declared that 
"the inherent risks of an employment should in 
justice be placed upon the shoulders of the employer, 
who can protect himself against loss by insurance 
and by such addition to the price of his wares as to 
cast the burden ultimately upon the consumer; that 
indemnity to an injured employee should be as much 
a charge upon the business as the cost of replacing 
or repairing disabled or defective machinery, appli- 
ances or tools." 

Dr. Gustav Stresemann, a former prominent mem- 
ber of the reichstag and a well-known economist, has 
just returned to Germany after a tour of the United 
States. Here are his words: "The conditions in 
most American factories in respect to safety are 
simply horrible, and any German factory inspector 
would be astounded if he could observe the dangers 
to which the majority of workmen are exposed." 


Figures issued by the national council of indus- 
trial safety show that 2,035,000 men and women are 
killed or injured each year. This represents a worker 
killed each 15 minutes or an industrial injury every 
16 seconds. Each hour there are 232 workers either 
killed or injured. This represents an economic loss 
of stupendous proportions, and from a humanitarian 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

point of view it rivets public attention on the heavy 
toll exacted in the course of business. 

It is this needless sacrifice of workers that has 
caused W. J. Ghent, an authority on the question, to 
compare the present with the days of the Civil War 
and to follow up a vivid picture of the slaughter of 
Gettysburg with these burning words : 

"Seven thousand killed outright, 33,000 wounded, 
say the records, and yet others killed and wounded 
among the eleven thousand reported missing. For 
days and weeks thereafter a pall of gloom hung over 
North and South. The telegraph ticked off its seem- 
ingly interminable lists of dead and wounded, and by 
mail and messenger the news was carried far and 
wide. Everywhere the nation mourned for the un- 
timely death of its loved ones. Now we live in a 
time called peace. Yet every year we have a Gettys- 
burg, and not only a Gettysburg, but a Spottsylvania, 
and a Chancellorsville, and an Antietam, and a Fred- 
ericksburg, and a Chickamaugua, and a Stone River 
rolled into one. Yet all of this slaughter crowded 
into a single year does not awaken a shadow of the 
horror that followed the news from any of these 
historic battlefields. When we think of it at all we 
merely shrug our shoulders and say, 'Poor fellows ; it 
is their lot !' and then we go on again with our tasks 
and our pleasures. " 


California's reported death roll in the occupations 
during 1912 amounted to a loss of 412 able-bodied men. 
These deaths represented a wage loss of $10,454,637. 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

Accidents causing temporary disability numbered 8681 
and a wage loss of $729,084. Permanent injuries 
were sustained by 534 persons and their wage loss 
was $3,353,520. These three items alone give the 
stupendous amount of $14,537,241 lost to the state of 
California for the year. 


During the year 1913, 24,177 accidents were re- 
ported to the industrial accident board. Of these 
12,106 came within the provisions of the accident- 
reporting law. Of this number 583 represented deaths. 
The list of those permanently disabled shows a total of 
864, of which number 5 were totally disabled. The 
total number temporarily incapacitated was 10,659. 
The wage loss was $17,678,859.42, of which amount 
$12,837,422.40 was lost through death, $4,755,890.53 
through permanent injury and $662,292.67 through 
temporary injury. 


In agricultural employments and in domestic service 
in 1913 there were 201 deaths, 302 permanent injuries 
and 3865 temporary injuries. 


These figures but partially show the gravity of the 
burden of industrial accidents laid upon California, 
owing to the fact that employers engaged in agricul- 
tural industry or domestic service were specifically 
exempt under the terms of the law, and that acci- 
dents in all employments in which the disability 
extends over a period of less than one week were 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

also excluded, and also because it required much time 
to acquaint the employers throughout the state with 
their obligations in regard to the reporting of acci- 



The world-wide abolition of the liability system of 
treating injured men, and the substitution therefor of 
compensation has now been accepted by the state of 

The new way of computing compensation, which is 
compulsory, excepting for agricultural pursuits and 
domestic service, is based on the nature of the 
physical injury or disfigurement, the occupation of 
the employee and his age at the time of such injury. 
This will give some men more than others, according 
to the schedule based on the three essentials referred 
to. In addition, there is provision for pensions, at a 
reduced rate, for those who are permanently and 
seriously hurt and who are unable to follow their 
vocations. In order to meet this extra cost, which 
afifects very few men, the compensation payments 
will not begin until two weeks after disability. It is 
believed the addition of the extra week, as compared 
to tfye one week of the Roseberry law, will pay fully 
for the pensions of those who have been eliminated 
from the industrial field. 

The new law requires full medical and surgical 
attention for injured wage-earners for the first ninety 
days. The theory of this section is that compensa- 
tion may be saved if the injured person can be re- 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

stored to efficiency as speedily as possible, and, out- 
side of that, there is the humanitarian viewpoint that 
considers each man or woman engaged in industry 
as a national asset. 


The safety department of the new law is elastic in 
administration, following the Wisconsin plan. Hear- 
ings will be held at which both employers and em- 
ployees will be represented, in conjunction with the 
safety experts of the industrial accident commission, 
and afterward there will be issued rules, orders or 
regulations requiring preventive measures that will 
reduce the number of casualties in the various occu- 
pations. Wisconsin employers and employees have 
found this new way very satisfactory. It insures co- 
operation between all those interested, and the com- 
mission has authority as binding as law after the 
hearings have been held. Common sense and good 
judgment can both be used to advantage in protect- 
ing machinery and making places of employment safe. 


Important indeed is the state compensation insur- 
ance fund. The only practicable way for employers 
to protect themselves and to add the cost to the 
business is by carrying insurance. Realizing this, 
there have been provided four methods: first, the 
state compensation insurance fund; second, the regu- 
lar insurance companies selling compensation cover- 
age; third, mutual companies of not less than one 
hundred employers with an aggregate pay roll of 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

$500,000 a year; fourth, the employer to carry the 
risk himself. These methods are optional for em- 
ployers. The object of the state compensation insur- 
ance fund is to sell coverage at a fair rate that will 
make sure that the injured men and women receive 
all that the law calls for, and will also have the 
advantage of reasonable cost to employers. 


Insurance rates are based on not only the hazard 
of the industry but the way that plants are safe- 
guarded. The employer who installs all the pro- 
tective devices possible, who places safety rails at 
the head of openings in floors and who takes all the 
numerous other precautions that are not only advis- 
able but necessary, will be charged a lower rate than 
will the man who is careless in these respects. This 
means that there will be a premium for the careful 
and humane employer, and the cost of his installations 
for the protection of his employees will be repaid by 
the lower rates charged. The indifferent employer 
who is neglectful will have to pay a higher price 
for his insurance. As premiums are always based on 
the hazard of the industry, the prime object is to 
prevent all the deaths and all the injuries possible. 
This object is good for the nation and for the state, 
and it certainly should appeal to every man and 
woman regardless of relations in industry. 

Statistics will be carefully collected under the 
compensation law, so that the public may secure all 
the information possible concerning the industrial 
accident situation. Not only will the facts and fig- 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

ures gleaned prove of general interest, but the insur- 
ance rates are based on the hazard of each industry, 
which makes accuracy in the statistical department 
especially important as regards cost. 

Appeals may be taken from decisions of the indus- 
trial accident commission to either the supreme court 
of the state or to the district court of appeal. 


The industrial accident board pioneered the way 
in a new venture into social legislation. The path 
was not easy. There soon developed strong oppo- 
sition to the Roseberry law of 1911, even though 
it did not go to the root of the problem, and afforded 
both employers and employees an option of operating 
either under liability or compensation. Many men 
took the position that they were willing to pay for 
the accidents they caused, or indirectly helped to 
cause, but they deemed it an injustice to have to con- 
tribute for other disabilities. This belief is rapidly 
waning. A percentage of accidents is charged to 
employers, a slightly larger percentage is the result 
of negligence on the part of the employees, but the 
largest volume, by far, are trade risks, injuries that 
nobody can foresee or prevent, under present in- 
dustrial conditions. The newer and better theory is 
to group together these three percentages and con- 
sider them as incidental to business and charge the 
whole cost to business. This means that, finally, the 
"ultimate consumer" will pay the bill. 

There is a marked changing sentiment in the state 
of California in respect to workmen's compensation. 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

The horrors of the liability system are disappearing, 
and there is none to regret the fact. Costly and 
uncertain, affording no relief to thousands of injured 
or to the dependents of the killed, our own land has 
proved slowest in grappling with one of the causes 
of poverty and industrial unrest. Now it is con- 
sidered the proper thing to admit that compensation 
is not only right in theory but also in practice. 

After taking office on September 1, 1911, it was 
at once recognized by the industrial accident board 
that additional legislation should be requested at the 
very earliest opportunity. Inasmuch as the legislature 
met during the following December, two bills were 
introduced and passed authorizing the board to make 
a complete survey of the field. This enabled the for- 
mation of a statistical department and a study of the 
way other countries were providing compensation for 
injured workers. 


It was early believed that the optional sections of 
the Roseberry law were confusing and generally un- 
satisfactory, and that the very large majority given 
to the constitutional amendment showed that the 
popular wish was for the more equitable compensation 
method. As a result of this situation, the time and 
ability of the board were partly directed to preparing 
the legislation, so that nothing ill-advised should be 
introduced. It is opportune to state that all the lead- 
ing features of the new law that became effective on 
January 1, 1914, have been tested somewhere on this 
earth and not found wanting. We had the world 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

to select from, and chose tlie best, making such 
changes as seemed needful for the state of California. 

Thousands of injured men and women, and the 
dependents of the killed, have paid personal visits 
to the headquarters of the board. For the first time 
in California's history, these citizens, who had become 
dependent on others by reason of the casualties that 
follow in the wake of business, were able to have state 
protection and assistance given them without cost. 

At first glance, it might seem strange that only 
about 83 formal cases of disputes have come before 
the industrial accident board during two years. The 
word "formal" is used in the sense that the board 
had to sit as a court of arbitration and decide the 
issues between employers and employees. As a mat- 
ter of fact, this is the highest commendation for 
compensation. Out of several thousand cases that 
came under that part of the law, nearly all v v r ere 
settled between the parties directly concerned, or 
after the co-operation of members of the board had 
been secured in an advisory capacity. The outcome 
was little or no friction between employers and em- 
ployees, no loss of time before financial assistance 
was rendered the unfortunate injured, and almost 
invariably the men returned to their former positions 
on recovery. 


Contrast this situation with the old way,— inade- 
quate settlements, generally no settlement at all, 
friction all around, delay and the bitterness that fol- 
lowed litigation. In addition, some lawyers were 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

ever al'ert to make capital by striking at both em- 
ployer and employee — at the former through a suit 
for damages at usually a sky-line figure, and at the 
latter by a cast-iron contract that would net but 
little for the crippled man. And when one thinks of 
the perjury practiced and the difficulty of securing 
witnesses who were anxious to retain their positions, 
it will be seen at a glance that better days are here 
and that no longer will the evils of liability prevail. 
California has taken the initial step toward treating 
her men and women of labor as human beings. 
Never again will the hurt man and the widows and 
little children of the industrially slain be left to the 
mercies of public or private charity. Compensation, 
buttressed by insurance and safety provisions, has 
displaced the old order. Each step hereafter will be 
forward, in keeping with the times and the experi- 
ences of other lands. 


Employers to the number of 1160 voluntarily ac- 
cepted the compensation sections of the Roseberry 
law. These acceptances afford an opportunity to give 
the experiences of a representative group of men 
engaged in industry in this state. Many of the em- 
ployers had on their payrolls more than 1000 em- 
ployees — ranging from 12,000 down. Others accepted 
compensation for one or more employees. The united 
testimony was decidedly favorable for compensation. 
Opportunities to withdraw at the end of the first 
year were offered by law, but there were practically 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

no withdrawals, thus conclusively proving the state- 
ment of universal satisfaction. 

The cost of the new compensation law is not in ex- 
cess of the cost of the liability law. Professor Albert 
W. Whitney, formerly of the University of California 
and now expert for New York's insurance depart- 
ment, spent several months co-operating with the 
state officials, and he says he is prepared to stake his 
professional reputation on the equality of cost of 
compensation for employers, after comparing the two 

The "Standard Oil Bulletin" of November, 1913, 
thus editorially described the viewpoint of the Stand- 
ard Oil company, a company conceded to be alert to 
its business interests: 

"our employees. 

"When the legislature of this state passed the first 
industrial compensation act, which became effective 
September 1, 1911, regulating the liabilities of em- 
ployers to their help, it was made optional with them 
whether to accept it. The officers of the Standard 
company, however, immediately took steps to be ad- 
vised about the provisions of this law and the advisa- 
bility of going under it. This inquiry led to the 
belief that the men of this new industrial accident 
commission were men of high intelligence and char- 
acter; also that the conditions then obtaining in the 
courts concerning damage suits for personal injuries 
were very unsatisfactory, as the result of each trial 
was usually left to the jury on some pretext or an- 
other and the former practice of the courts to reduce 
the amount of excessive verdicts had practically been 
abandoned. Moreover, the bringing of these damage 
suits had become a sort of special practice with many 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

members of the bar, who worked usually on con- 
tingent fees running from a quarter to half of the 
amounts recovered. In many cases these attorneys 
were not over-scrupulous in procuring a little testi- 
mony which would enable them to get a case to the 
jury. As a rule, very few business men sat upon 
juries in these damage cases, and a big verdict was 
confidently expected and usually obtained in each 

"On the other hand, it was found that under the 
'liability act' all the money paid for injuries to em- 
ployees went directly to them or to their families. 

"Under these conditions it was promptly decided to 
accept the act; a step which has not been regretted. 

"The instances in which the company has been un- 
able to settle with its employees, and where the act 
has been invoked, have been very few. Since the 
compensation law became effective there have been 
only six cases involving any controversy and requir- 
ing a hearing and decision by the board. The com- 
pany now takes pleasure in stating that it has uni- 
formly received fair and courteous treatment from 
the commission. The company has not only paid 
every award made in favor of employees, or their 
families (without appeal), but has also complied with 
the recommendations of the board to make certain 
payments not technically required under the law, but 
which seemed to merit the consideration of the com- 
pany under the circumstances of the case. The result 
has been more money for employees and families and 
less for the lawyers. In addition to this, injured em- 
ployees have received their money when they needed 
it most — that is, soon after the injury, instead of at 
the end of years of litigation. These facts are in 
favor of the commission in preference to the courts 
as the tribunal for the settlement of these matters. 
The new law will soon go into effect and makes it 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

compulsory upon all employers to accept and comply 
with its provisions. " 


Bismarck was the first statesman to seek a remedy 
for what had become a menacing evil. He promptly 
declared the old, "tort" system of dealing with the 
problem a failure and, looking about him for a 
remedy, found it in some survivals of insurance or- 
ganizations which had come down from the old 
mediaeval guilds. He made the employers of Ger- 
many the limited insurers of their men, the limit 
being what was needed to tide injured workmen over 
their periods of adversity until they could again sup- 
port themselves. The employers charged the cost of 
this insurance into their product, the consumers paid 
the bill, and the third greatest cause of poverty in 
Germany ceased to be a cause of poverty at all. 

All the nations of Europ'e, except Turkey, have 
followed Germany's example, at least in so far as 
substituting a limited insurance for an action for 
damages in "tort" is concerned, and so have the 
British colonies of Africa, Australia, New Zealand, 
British Columbia, upwards of thirty nations and 
states of the world outside of our own country, and 
twenty-four states of the American union. 


The following twenty-four states have passed com- 
pensation laws: Arizona, California, Colorado, Con- 
necticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, 
Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ne- 
vada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, West 
Virginia, and Wisconsin. 

In nearly all the other states there are legislative 
commissions busily engaged in preparing for compen- 
sation legislation. Within a very few years all the 
states will have compensation laws. They will un- 
doubtedly be compulsory in character. The best 
economic thought of the land favors that system. 
Employers and employees are likewise united. The 
National Association of Manufacturers is strongly on 
record for the abolition of liability and the installation 
of compensation, and the American Federation of 
Labor has taken similar action. 

The federal government is contemplating the pass- 
age of one of two compulsory bills now before con- 
gress. Within a few months all federal employees 
will be fully cared for when unfortunate enough to 
be injured while at work. 


California is not the first state to adopt compulsory 
compensation. Three other states have similar laws. 
Other states are contemplating the compulsory method, 
and are more and more making it difficult to operate 
under liability, by abolishing the common-law defenses 
and requiring election of liability instead of election 
of compensation. 

In California the following classes are excluded 
from the compulsory provisions of the law: "Any 
person whose employment is both casual and not in 
the usual course of the trade, business, profession or 
occupation of his employer, and also excluding any 


Industrial Accidents in California. 

employee engaged in farm, dairy, agricultural, viti- 
cultural or horticultural labor, in stock or poultry 
raising or in household domestic service. ,, 

The purpose of the law is not to place any burden 
on the ^employer, but to relieve him entirely of vexa- 
tious and exceedingly costly lawsuits, and the possi- 
bility of awards from juries far in excess of liability 
insurance protection. The various forms of insurance 
provided by the state will enable this to be done 
without excessive cost, and the premium will rightly 
be added to the charges of business and included in 
the cost of the manufactured article. 

There is no humane reason, nor is there the least 
justification, for continuing to place all the burden 
of industrial accidents upon the shoulders of crippled 
workers. Especially does this apply to the widows 
and the little children of the killed. These unfor- 
tunates pay their full share in human life, blood and 
bone, and they are recompensed only in part when 
the financial ledger is made up. 

Compulsory compensation has proved satisfactory 
all over the zvorld. Insurance is the employer's pro- 
tection and the only logical method of charging the 
cost to the business. Accident prevention is most 
important of all, for it represents saving of lives, 
reduction of countless injuries, lowering the premium 
rates to employers, and truly is the aim of men and 
women who give the most thought to the welfare of 
their fellows and have a conception of the attitude 
that should be the concern of the nation for its wards. 

The Illinois commission, in its printed report, 

62 ! 

Industrial Accidents in California. 

stated that employers in the United States paid $22,- 
000,000 each year for protection against lawsuits 
under liability. But a small fraction of this vast sum 
went to injured employees. Under compensation 
nearly all this money will go to the dependents of 
the killed or to the injured. 

The new workmen's compensation insurance and 
safety law does all this and its success is unques- 






The bureau of labor statistics was established in 
1883, but until the present commissioner was ap- 
pointed its scope was confined principally to the 
gathering and compilation of statistics and the bureau 
was of little or no value. The office of commissioner 
was deemed a sinecure and when the progressive 
administration came into power was occupied by a 
well-known county boss of the old railroad machine. 
The office was not taken seriously until Hiram W. 
Johnson became governor. John P. McLaughlin was 
appointed commissioner in March, 1911. At that time 
the staff of the bureau consisted of seven persons and 
there was an annual appropriation for all purposes of 
$23,100; but its work has grown in the past two 
years to such an extent that there are at present 
twenty-four persons regularly employed and the ap- 
propriation is $38,000. The complaints now in- 
vestigated are many times as numerous as they were 
four years ago. 

The scope of the bureau has been expanded to take • 
in the enforcement of all laws pertaining to the wel- 
fare of labor and to lend assistance to the toiling 
masses who are unable to get a hearing of their 
grievances at other places. 


Work of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Among the laws now being enforced by the bureau 
are the child labor law, the eight hour law for women, 
the eight hour law in mines, smelters and under- 
ground work, the ten hour law for drug clerks, the 
pay check law and the payment of wage law; also 
laws pertaining to the regulation of employment 
agencies, the sanitation and ventilation of factories 
and workshops, the sanitation of labor camps, and 
the protection of workmen on buildings. Practically 
all of these laws were enacted or amended so as to 
make them useful by the progressive legislatures of 
1911 and 1913. 


Probably the greatest work accomplished by the 
bureau has been the practical elimination of child 
labor in the industries of this state. The aim of the 
present commissioner has been to obtain at least a 
grammar school education for every child before 
it enters the ranks of industry. This has been vir- 
tually accomplished by amendments to the child labor 
law, which were recommended by the bureau. When 
the present commissioner took office the child labor 
law was being ignored by most employers. After a 
year of strict enforcement of the law, the number 
of children under 16 years of age employed in 
5123 establishments inspected by the bureau — in which 
148,549 persons were employed — was 1331, or less 
than one per cent of the total number of employees. 

The enforcement of the child labor law is reflected 
in the enrollment and attendance in the public schools. 
During the year ending June 30, 1912, — or the first 
3 65 

Work of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

year of the present commissioner's term of office — 
the enrollment in the primary and grammar schools 
of the state increased 22,290, as compared with an 
increase of 12,294 during the preceding year. The 
percentage of increase during 1912 was 6.7 per cent., 
as compared with 3.8 per cent, during 1911; 3.2 per 
cent, during 1910; 4.4 per cent, during 1909. The 
average daily attendance in these schools increased 
17,083 during 1912, as against 11,081 during 1911. 
The percentage of increase during 1912 was 6.5 per 
cent., as compared with 4.4 per cent, during 1911; 
3.1 per cent, during 1910; 5.3 per cent, during 1909. 


The bureau undertook the enforcement of the eight 
hour law for women and sent its agents out on a 
tour of inspection covering over 9500 establishments 
to make investigation of violations thereof. In addi- 
tion over 1300 complaints for violations of this law 
have been filed in the offices of the bureau and in- 
vestigated. Prosecutions were brought in 135 in- 
stances. A test cast in an action against a hotel 
(People v. F. A. Miller) was taken to the supreme 
court of the state, where the constitutionality of the 
law was upheld. The case was then appealed to the 
United States supreme court, and the bureau will 
appear when it is called for trial. At the 1913 
session of the legislature the law was amended to 
include hospitals in its scope. Some time after the 
amendment was passed an action was brought in the 
United States district court, asking for an order 
restraining the commissioner from enforcing the law 


Work of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

with respect to hospitals. The order was denied and 
the action has since been taken to the United States 
supreme court. 

Establishments in which women are employed have 
been required to furnish seats for their female help 
and permit them to use them when not engaged in 
the active duties of their employment. The furnish- 
ing of seats has been particularly beneficial in the 
case of saleswomen and girls in department stores 
where they were formerly compelled to stand all day. 
Separate toilets and lavatories have been ordered 
installed in establishments where women are em- 
ployed and the use of the rooms by the opposite sex 

The bureau has been wiping out the practice, 
which was general a short time ago, of sending girls 
out on road shows and stranding them in strange 
towns without friends or funds and telling them to 
shift for themselves. Every show manager found 
doing this has been apprehended, when possible, and 
prosecuted if he failed to return the girls to their 
homes and pay their expenses. The commissioner 
has served notice on the various theatrical booking 
agencies warning them to refrain from booking girls 
for road shows, unless the agencies are satisfied with 
the financial standing of the manager; otherwise the 
commissioner would hold any booking agency respon- 
sible who failed to do so, and revoke his license. 


The employment agencies have been brought under 
absolute control by the bureau. Every agency must 


Work of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

be licensed by the commissioner before it can start 
operations. The bureau prepared, and succeeded in 
having passed, the most stringent law for the regu- 
lation of employment agencies to be found in any 
state. When a person is sent out to a job the work 
must be as represented, or the agency is obliged to 
refund the fees paid and the expenses incurred by 
the applicant. If this is not done the license of the 
agency may be revoked by the commissioner. During 
the two and one-half fiscal years ending December 31, 
1913, over 1400 complaints against employment 
agencies were filed with the bureau and an amount 
in excess of $4200.00 was ordered returned to the 
men and women who had suffered loss through mis- 
representation on the part of the agencies. A typical 
case is one in which thirty men were shipped out by 
a San Francisco agency to work as laborers on the 
railroad near Wadsworth, Nevada. The men arrived 
at their destination about ten o'clock at night and 
were obliged to walk about three miles through a 
storm to their place of work. When they arrived at 
the camp there were no accommodations and they 
were obliged to sleep on the floor of a barroom. 
The bureau took up the case immediately and as a 
result of its action the railroad company issued passes 
to return the men to San Francisco, and the con- 
struction company paid to each of the men $10.00 for 
their loss of time. In another instance, about forty 
men were sent to the hop fields at Wheatland and 
upon arriving at their destination, found that they 
had been sent out about two weeks too early, as the 


Work of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

hops were not ready for picking. The bureau took 
up their case and ordered the employment agency 
to return to each man his fee and expenses, which 
amounted to $9.35 each for those shipped from 
San Francisco, and $6.30 for those shipped from 
Sacramento. The bureau has vigorously prosecuted 
every case of collusion between employment agencies 
and employers of labor and it has practically stamped 
out the practice of the employment agency dividing 
fees with the agents or superintendent of the em- 
ployer. A notable example of this is the case of the 
People v. Colmer, instigated by the bureau. Colmer 
was the agent of a large construction company and 
entered into an agreement with several employment 
agencies in San Francisco whereby they were to pay 
him one-half of the fee collected from each laborer 
they sent to the construction camp. Colmer would 
meet the laborers at the station and take up the 
receipts which had been given them by the employ- 
ment agency, but would only accept for work those 
who had paid large fees, rejecting those who had 
paid small fees, in order that his share might be as 
large as possible. The result was a constant suc- 
cession of men being shipped out and employed but 
for a short period, in order that there might be a 
regular recurrence of fees to divide. 


During the two and one-half fiscal years ending 
December 31, 1913, the agents of the bureau have 
inspected the sanitary condition of over 9500 estab- 


Work of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

lishments, and wherever places have been found in an 
unsanitary condition changes have been ordered. Ill 
ventilated basements have been condemned and their 
use as workshops prohibited. In one instance 18 girls 
were found working in the basement of a new build- 
ing in which no provision had been made for the 
removal of foul air. Investigation showed that women 
had been sent home at the rate of one or two per 
day, because of illness resulting from the poor ven- 
tilation. The basement was condemned by the bureau 
and the owner obliged to install an extensive blower 
system. Blowers have been ordered installed — by the 
bureau — in all places where dust, filiaments or in- 
jurious gases are produced or generated. Special 
attention has been given to the sanitary condition 
in places where food products are handled. During 
the inspection of the canneries and packing houses in 
1912, the agents of the bureau found many establish- 
ments in an unsanitary condition. The owners were 
given notice to clean up their plants and to keep 
them clean. At a subsequent inspection of these 
plants by the bureau they were found thoroughly 
renovated. The bureau has required the installation 
of a sufficient number of toilets and lavatories, which 
must be separate for each sex, properly designated, 
and the use by the opposite sex forbidden. The health 
and general welfare of the men and women em- 
ployed in the various industries of the state has been 
given most careful attention. 


Work of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 


During a visit of the commissioner to the railroad 
construction camps in the northern part of the state, 
he was impressed with the unsanitary condition sur- 
rounding the camps in which laborers were housed, 
and with the total disregard of the employers for 
the health and comfort of their employees. Men 
were found sleeping on hard bunks, in open tents, 
with three feet of snow on the ground, the employer 
not even furnishing straw for bedding. In the past, 
little or no attention has been paid to the men hidden 
away in the mountains and forests, building our rail- 
roads, our irrigation systems and power plants and 
cutting our timber. They have often been treated as 
so many cattle. The camps provided for them were 
makeshifts, unclean and unsanitary, with practically 
no accommodations. The bureau prepared a bill, 
which has become a law, providing for the sanitation 
of camps. Agents of the bureau were then sent into 
the field to make a thorough inspection of the camps, 
including the sanitation, ventilation, the water supply, 
food supply, and the care of the sick and injured. 
The bureau has instructed the companies operating 
these camps to place them in sanitary condition and 
to provide proper accommodations for the men. The 
bureau has ordered the installation of steel or other 
sanitary bunks in place of the old, filthy, wooden 
kind, and forty-three companies have already com- 
plied. For the first time in the history of this state, 
the welfare of the common laborer who toils in the 
isolated parts has been considered. 


Work of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 


The hiring and paying off of the men employed as 
laborers in the salmon canneries of Alaska has, in 
the past, involved some of the worse abuses per- 
petrated on the laboring man. After a thorough in- 
vestigation of these abuses, the bureau prepared a 
bill which became a law, providing for the manner of 
payment of wages earned in seasonal labor. This law 
provides that the wages earned in seasonal labor shall 
be paid in the presence of the commissioner or an 
examiner appointed by him. Upon the return of the 
men from Alaska in September of last year, the 
bureau took the matter in hand and had as many as 
six examiners at one time supervising the paying off 
of these, cannery hands. In years gone by the average 
amount paid to these men upon their return to San 
Francisco was below $50.00, and in some cases little 
or nothing. Last year under supervision by this 
bureau, the average amount paid to each man was 
over $100.00, or double what was formerly received. 
The bureau has also succeeded in obtaining better 
food and conditions for these men, and has refused 
to permit deductions for gambling or liquor, or to 
permit exorbitant charges for merchandise or food. 
In past years the money due these men rarely reached 
their hands, but was taken up by "sharks" who hung 
around the place where the men were paid off. This 
year, the bureau insisted that the money due the 
men be paid directly to them. Up to the present 
time the examiners of the bureau have supervised the 
payment of over one-half million dollars in wages. 


Work of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Two contractors were prosecuted for refusal to abide 
by the rulings of the commissioner respecting deduc- 
tions from wages. The bureau has refused to allow 
the companies to charge the men $5.00 each, which 
money was supposed to pay a watchman to watch 
the men themselves so that they could not get away 
before the ship sailed. The bureau succeeded in ob- 
taining an agreement with the Alaska Packers' Asso- 
ciation under the terms of which the men were not 
allowed to run store bills in excess of $20.00 during 
the season, so as to insure the men's receiving at 
least $100.00 upon their arrival in San Francisco. 
In past years over 4000 men have been dumped into 
San Francisco during the month of September, who 
after working in Alaska for five or six months, had 
hardly a penny to their names. 


The bureau has undertaken the prosecution of all 
cases involving schemes to defraud labor, such as the 
fictitious trade schools or profit sharing companies, 
whose sole purpose is to obtain the work and money 
of the laborer and give nothing in return. One of 
the largest schemes coming to the attention of the 
bureau led to the action of the People v. Hickey & 
Meadows. The facts are as follows: On May 1, 
1912, the attention of the bureau was called to an 
agent who was hiring men to perform labor for an 
electric light and power company at the rate of $2 
per day, whereas the prevailing rate of wages at that 
time for that class of labor was $1.75. Circulars had 
been printed in the Greek language and distributed 


Work of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

widely, and hundreds of Greek laborers were leaving 
their work on railroad construction, where they were 
receiving $1.75 per day, to apply for this work. The 
bureau obtained the services of a Greek laborer, and 
gave him $2.50 with which to apply for a position. 
When he handed the fee to the employment agent, our 
special agent stepped in and demanded that the 
agent show his license to conduct an employ- 
ment agency. He produced a small typewritten sheet 
which he claimed was his license. This sheet bore 
a memorandum of the number of a license that had 
expired on March 31st of that year. When ques- 
tioned he stated that he had paid $60 for the license 
and then refused to make any further admissions. He 
was immediately placed under arrest and charged 
with conducting an employment agency without first 
obtaining a license. The bureau, however, realized 
at this time that there was something deeper involved 
in this case, and requested the court to raise the bail 
high enough so that we could hold this agent 
and get at the real culprits. It was first ascertained 
that there was no such company in existence as the 
one the men were being hired for, and there was no 
work whatever for them. When the agent was 
confronted with these facts, he made known all his 
dealings in the matter and it developed that he, him- 
self, had been made a victim and had parted with 
over $500.00. The bureau then obtained warrants for 
the arrest of the two men who had concocted the 
scheme. These two men were very prominent in 
San Francisco, and every influence, both political and 


Work of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

personal, was brought to bear in their behalf, but to 
no avail. The bureau procured the services of Mr. 
D. M. Duffy as special prosecutor, and after a pro- 
tracted trial in the police courts, they were held for 
trial in the superior court. The trial disclosed that 
these two men had drawn up a fictitious contract with 
a fictitious corporation in which they were authorized 
to employ 3000 Greek laborers. They showed this 
contract to the agent and instructed him to go 
out and hire the men. The agent was told to 
collect $2.50 from each man he hired and turn the 
money over to the two defendants. In consideration 
for his work he was to receive $500 and the job of 
general foreman over the laborers. The agent 
knew that a license was necessary and told the defend- 
ants that he must have one. The defendants agreed 
to obtain one for him and he gave them $60 for the 
purpose. In place of securing a license for him they 
went to an empty store that had formerly been an 
employment agency and copied the number and name 
of the license and handed him this memorandum in 
lieu of a license. On November 20, 1912, the defend- 
ants were found guilty of obtaining money under false 
pretenses and sentenced to three years' imprisonment 
in the state penitentiary. Fortunately this scheme 
had been nipped in the bud, but even though it had 
only been in operation one day, 148 laborers had been 
fleeced out of $2.50 each. If the bureau had not taken 
such immediate action 3000 laborers would have been 
mulcted out of $2.50 each, or a total of $7500, and — 
still worse — would have quit their jobs and rushed to 


Work of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

San Francisco to get the increased pay that was 


The largest task undertaken by the bureau has 
been the settlement of claims for wages. This task 
was self-imposed and was undertaken when it was 
shown that thousands of persons were being de- 
prived of their earnings, owing to their inability to 
invoke the law in their behalf. The bureau has 
wiped out the pay check evil as it formerly existed 
in this state. To-day every man and woman em- 
ployed must be paid in coin or negotiable paper, pay- 
able upon demand without discount at some bank 
or other established place of business. No longer 
may employers pay off in time checks, payable in 
one or two, or sometimes six months; or discount 
their own checks for ten or twenty per cent, when 
cash is desired, or compel men to cash their pay 
checks in saloons owned or controlled by the em- 
ployer. The firms that were most notorious for 
these practices, to-day pay their employees full wages 

The wage collection agencies have been practically 
driven out of business, and when men and women 
have wages due them they get the entire amount, 
not ten or twenty per cent, of it, as was formerly 
the case. During the incumbency of the present 
commissioner and up to December 31, 1913, 8277 
claims for wages had been filed in the bureau and 
investigated. The bureau succeeded in obtaining set- 
tlements in 5164 cases and in collecting $91,812.04. 


Work of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

The investigation of wage claims has brought to 
light some very interesting facts concerning the 
abuses practiced upon helpless or ignorant working- 
men and workingwomen. One particular case is 
cited to show the attitude of some employers. A 
young girl was employed as a domestic in a private 
family. The girl was discharged at the end of three 
weeks and was refused payment of her wages. Her 
employer was cited to the office of the bureau and 
stated that he refused to pay her because his wife 
had caught the girl eating an egg for breakfast and 
eggs were too expensive for servant girls. 

The questions concerning wages are often very 
involved and have many angles. For example: 
Laborers were being sent to work at the reservoir 
site at Big Creek, under promise that their railroad 
fare would be refunded if they remained for one 
month. The work was closed down and thirty men 
who had been hired within the previous month were 
deprived of the opportunity of completing their 
month's work in order to have their fare refunded. 
The bureau took up this case and secured the refund 
of $10.80 for each man. 

The matter of hospitals and hospital fees is in- 
timately related to wages, as the hospital fee is 
regularly deducted from the pay check. Many com- 
plaints have been made against practices in vogue 
by some companies. A typical case is one which 
occurred recently in which a man who had been 
working for a lumber company for many years and 
paying $1.00 per month for hospital fees, was taken 


Work of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

sick. The company's doctor treated his case for a 
short time and then recommended that he be trans- 
ferred to a private hospital. This was done, and a 
short time after, the man died and his widow was 
compelled to pay the hospital $94.00. The matter 
was taken up by the bureau and the lumber company 
reimbursed the widow the $94.00 she had expended. 


The bureau has made extensive investigations in 
hours of labor, wages and general conditions of 
labor, throughout the state. The results of these in- 
vestigations are contained in the various reports 
issued by the bureau, among which are the special 
report on work of the bureau, 1911; labor laws of 
California; special report on labor conditions in can- 
ning industry; and the fifteenth biennial report, a 
volume of 668 pages, being the largest report ever 
published by the bureau. 

1, 1911, AND ENDING DECEMBER 31, 1913. 

Violations of laws pertaining to Number. 

Non-payment of wages 8267 

Eight-hour law for women 1364 

Employment agencies 1521 

Child labor 360 

Blowers 104 

Sanitation 205 

Scaffolding, flooring, etc 83 

Weekly day of rest 120 


Work of Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Public works 52 

Ten hours for drug clerks 11 

Seats for females 20 

Miscellaneous 146 

Total 12,253 

DECEMBER 31, 1913. 

Violation of of cases. 

Blower law 4 

Child labor law 72 

Eight-hour law for women '. 135 

Eight-hour law on public works 1 

Eight-hour law for underground work 2 

Employment agencies — advance fees 5 

Employment agencies — licensing 21 

Misrepresentation as to strikes 4 

Payment of wage law 49 

Pay check law 7 

Scaffolding, flooring, etc., law 14 

Ten-hour law for drug clerks 4 

Unlawful use of union card 1 

Weekly day of rest law 11 

Vending at night law 43 

Total 373 



[n pursuance of its program of social legislation 
and reform the progressive administration has, of 
course, done much to improve the conditions of the 
rank and file of industry. Among the conspicuous 
provisions for the benefit of labor may be listed the 
following : 


Employers' liability act, enacted in 1911, and now 
superseded by the workman's compensation insurance 
and safety act, enacted in 1913. Industrial accident 
board created. 

Paul Scharrenberg, legislative agent of organized 
labor, in his report on the work of the legislature of 
1913, referring to the workmen's compensation, insur- 
ance and safety act, said: 

"The labor press and labor organizations are par- 
ticularly urged to explain and defend this act to the 
working people of this state in the face of the cam- 
paign of misrepresentation and malevolent abuse 
waged against it ceaselessly by those whose sole aim 
and purpose is to retain the barbaric laws of the last 
century imposing upon the workers themselves the 
entire burden and cost of industrial accident." 


Act providing whenever an employer discharges an 
employee the wages earned and unpaid shall be pay- 
able immediately, and that when an employee resigns 
the wages earned and unpaid shall be payable within 
five days. This act stopped the pay check graft. 


Legislation for Labor. 

Provided that no employer shall withhold wages for 
any regular employment longer than fifteen days after 
they become due. 


Act providing that conductors, engineers, firemen, 
brakemen, train dispatchers and telegraph operators 
shall not be permitted to be on duty for more than 
sixteen hours consecutively, excepting in such emer- 
gencies as wrecks. 

Full train crew act, prohibiting railroads from oper- 
ating with short or untrained crews. 


An act providing for temporary floors in buildings 
in course of construction, to protect the workmen 
from falling between the joists, and from falling 
bricks, planks, tools, etc. 

Also, an act requiring that hoists on buildings dur- 
ing construction shall have a system of signals for 
operation and control. 

An act requiring a safety rail on scaffolding sus- 
pended from an overhead support. 


Blacklisting of employees prohibited. 


Statute regulating employment agencies, placing 
them under jurisdiction of the bureau of labor statis- 
tics, and prescribing regulations designed to prevent 
the wrongs and frauds that had been practiced upon 
laborers by some employment agencies. 


Legislation for Labor. 


Factories and shops required to keep free, for use 
of employees, a medical and surgical chest with 
various first aid remedies. 


An act to provide for the registration of mills, shops 
and other manufacturing establishments, and other 
statutes for the collection of valuable labor statistics. 


A complete and enlightened system of child labor 
laws, more fully described in the list of legislation 
afifecting women and children. 


The eight-hour law for women, and the amend- 
ment applying the law to student nurses in hospitals. 


An act prescribing an eight-hour day for men en- 
gaged in underground work in mines or tunnels, or 
in smelters for the reduction or refining of ores. 


Act requiring that »wages earned in seasonal labor 
be paid in the presence of the commissioner of the 
bureau of labor statistics or an examiner appointed 
by him, and giving him jurisdiction to decide all dis- 
putes arising from wages earned in seasonal labor, 
and providing for the rejection of all deductions made 
for gambling debts incurred by the employee, and for 
liquor sold to the employee. This act is designed to 
break up the practice of cheating the men out of their 
season's earnings. 


Legislation for Labor. 


Act requiring employers, advertising or soliciting 
for men to take the place of striking employees, to 
plainly and explicitly mention in such advertisements 
or solicitations, that a strike, lockout or other labor 
disturbance exists. 

civil SERVICE. 

Act establishing civil service throughout the state 

Act permitting the employees of the Mare Island 
navy yard to use their own boat to cross over from 
the navy yard to the city of Vallejo, a procedure in 
which they had been restrained by order of court. 


The alien land bill, prohibiting the owning of land 
by persons ineligible to citizenship but saving all the 
treaty rights of such persons. 


Act prohibiting manufacturers and merchants from 
misrepresenting the kind or character of labor em- 
ployed in the production of articles manufactured or 
sold, the effect being to prevent non-union manufac- 
turers from advertising their goods as union made. 


Act repealing the law which made it a misdemeanor 
to entice a seaman to desert his vessel. Thus the 
progressive administration placed the seaman upon an 
equality with other laborers, in so far as the state law 
can effect that purpose. The sailors' union had been 
trying for a number of years to have that obnoxious 


Legislation for Labor. 

and tyrannical statute repealed. In 1907 and 1909 
the measure was passed by both houses and vetoed 
by the then governor. Governor Johnson immediately 
signed the bill repealing the tyrannical law. 

John I. Nolan, legislative agent for organized labor 
in the 1911 session of the legislature, said in his report 
on the work of that legislature : 

'The labor representatives of the thirty-ninth ses- 
sion of the California legislature were successful for 
many reasons. 

"In the first place, Governor Johnson was ready 
and willing at all times to listen to your representa- 
tives. We were accorded every courtesy both by the 
governor and his office that it was possible to re- 
ceive, and labor, both organized and unorganized, is 
fortunate in having in the governor's chair of this 
state a man who is in sympathy with our wants and 
our needs. 

"Governor Johnson's sympathy for the working 
people of the state of California was made known in 
many ways to the representatives of the people in 
both houses, and was, in no slight degree, responsible 
at times for the passage of many acts in the interests 
of the working people. 

"I want to say, in passing, that it is the unanimous 
opinion of all the representatives of labor at Sacra- 
mento, that we have in Governor Johnson a man 
from whom labor, both organized and unorganized, 
can, at all times, expect a square deal. 

"The present governor of this state is entitled to 
and should receive the unanimous support without any 
exception of the entire labor movement of the state 
of California, and it is to be hoped that labor, when 
the time comes, will show that they appreciate the 
square deal accorded to them at the hands of Gov- 
ernor Johnson. " 




Among the items are: 


1. The equal suffrage amendment to the constitu- 
tion was submitted to the people as a result of which 
women obtained the right to vote in California. 
This, of course, was one of the most important acts 
of the administration. 


2. Various child labor laws, providing among 
other things that no minor under 18 years of age 
shall be employed between 10 p. m. and 5 a. m. ; no 
child under 14 years shall be employed in any occu- 
pation, excepting that a judge of the superior court 
may permit a child over 12 years to work in case 
the child's parents are incapacitated through illness, 
and except also that a child over 12 years may be 
employed during the school vacation. The law fur- 
ther provides that no minor under 16 years of age 
shall be employed during school hours unless he can 
read English at sight and can write intelligibly and 
correctly simple English sentences or is a regular 
attendant in a night school. No minor under 18 
shall be employed more than 8 hours in one day. 

These child labor laws enacted by the progressive 
legislatures of 1911 and 1913 constitute a most 


Legislation for Women and Children. 

enlightened scheme of child labor legislation, and 
place California in the forefront of states that have 
protected the child against exploitation. 

There is practically no child labor in California. 


3. The progressive legislatures of 1911 and 1913 
also enacted statutes improving the juvenile court 
law, establishing a system of probation for the in- 
mates of the Whittier state school and the Preston 
school of industry, providing for detention homes 
for children, separating and distinguishing between 
dependent and delinquent children, and providing for 
the punishment of those responsible for or contribu- 
ting to the dependency or delinquency of children. 


4. The eight-hour law for women, prohibiting the 
employment of females in manufacturing, mechan- 
ical or mercantile establishments, restaurants or laun- 
dries, etc., more than eight hours a day, and re- 
quiring that suitable seats shall be provided for use 
when such employees are not engaged in active 
duties. This law was originally enacted in 1911 and 
signed by Governor Johnson in the face of violent 
opposition from those who predicted that it would 
ruin business. The arguments based upon the dollar 
were overcome by arguments based upon considera- 
tions of humanity. The operation of the law has 
proved most salutary, and has not ruined or injured 
business. The law has been diligently and uni- 
formly enforced by the labor commissioner. It has 


Legislation for Women and Children. 

brought about a great improvement in the conditions 
surrounding working-women. Upon singing the bill 
Governor Johnson issued the following statement: 

"The bill prescribing an eight-hour day for women 
comes to me as an entirety. I must either accept it 
as a whole or reject it as a whole. I cannot modify 
or amend it. I have listened to oral arguments and 
have received many written arguments both for and 
against the measure. Independently, the question has 
been thoroughly investigated and I have before me 
the reports submitted upon legislation of this char- 
acter not only in this country, but in France, Ger- 
many, Switzerland, and England. Beyond this, some 
investigation has been made by my office among 
those who will be most directly affected by the law. 
While a less drastic and more elastic measure might 
have been preferable, and while, personally, I might 
have desired that legislation upon the subject should 
be gradual, still the advantages of the present bill 
outweigh the disadvantages. Strong men, by unity 
of action, have obtained for themselves an eight-hour 
day. Shall we require greater hours of labor for our 
women? As long ago as 1872, it was enacted by 
section 3244 of the political code, that eight hours of 
labor should constitute a day's work, and it was like- 
wise, by the following section, provided that eight 
hours' labor should constitute a legal day's work in 
all cases where the same was performed under the 
authority of the state, or of any municipal corpora- 
tion within the state, and our law has gone to the 
extent of requiring that a stipulation to that effect 
must be made a part of all contracts in which the 
state or any municipal corporation is a party. The 
policy, therefore, of the law in this state, is of long 
standing, and while the sections quoted refer, of 
course, to public work, they established what has 
been the set policy of California for more than forty 


Legislation for Women and Children. 

years, and that is that eight hours shall constitute a 
day's labor. The limitation of the hours of labor to 
eight is, therefore, by no means new, but that prin- 
ciple is firmly, and doubtless, irrevocably established 
in California. 

'The argument against the eight-hour day for 
women is purely economic. It is asserted that it will 
work hardship upon various business enterprises, 
that these enterprises will have to close and that 
financial disaster will follow. This has been the 
argument ever advanced against legislation of this 
sort and even against legislation designed for the 
protection of the public generally, such as pure food 
laws. When the first shorter hour law was adopted 
in England, as long ago as 1837, Nassau William 
Senior, one of the leading political economists of his 
time, insisted that the reduction of hours of labor 
would eliminate profit and bring disaster upon em- 
ployer and employee alike. The English employers 
then with the utmost vehemence protested. None of 
the ills they prophesied occurred. There are many 
of us who remember the child labor laws and how 
at the time of the enactment of the first of these laws 
in our state many of our reputable business men pro- 
tested with earnestness and apparent sincerity, assert- 
ing that they could not compete with their rivals 
and that the enactment of such laws meant their ruin. 
The laws were enacted and business continued just 
the same. Pure food laws enacted for the benefit of 
the public, the protection of its health in another way 
than that sought in the present act, were for years 
resisted upon the theory of the outrage that would 
be done business by their enactment, and the great 
losses that would be entailed. The laws went into 
efifect, and business continued just the same. Two 
years ago the legislature enacted a law limiting the 
hours of men working in mines in this state to eight 

Legislation for Women and Children. 

(statutes 1909, page 279). Many mine owners ap- 
peared then and insisted that if the law went into 
effect they would have to close down their mines and 
that the industry upon which originally rested the 
fame and romance of California, would be utterly 
destroyed. The law went into effect and today the 
same mines are running with the same profit, and 
the same employees. 

"The hours of labor of men, by the same act, in 
smelters and in other institutions for the refining of 
ores and metals, were limited to eight. The smelt- 
ers still run, additional ones are being built, and the 
subject of smelting has become so important, even 
with men's hours limited to eight, that it has en- 
grossed a considerable portion of the time of one of 
the houses of the legislature. 

"The economic argument also fails because ex- 
perience has shown that productivity will not be 
materially decreased under an eight-hour law. The 
report of the New York Bureau of Labor Statis- 
tics, 1900, states : 'Certain facts appear with dis- 
tinctiveness, one of which is that the cotton in- 
dustries of Massachusetts have not only grown 
steadily throughout the period of short hour legis- 
lation, but what is far more impressive, they 
made larger gains than are shown by adjacent 
states with less radical short hour laws.' This 
quotation is in line with the statements contained 
in many of the statistical reports that I have in- 

"As indicating what experience has shown in 
our state, where shorter hours have been given 
women, I quote this telegram received by me in 
the early days of the discussion of the bill : 

"'Highlands, Cal., January 30, 1911. 
11 'Governor Hiram W. Johnson, 
" 'Sacramento, Cal. 

" 'Am informed that Citrus Protective League 


Legislation for Women and Children. 

opposes bill reducing hours of labor of women and 
children in packing houses. I earnestly recom- 
mend the passage of this bill. Two years ago the 
Highland Orange Growers' Association, at urgent 
request of women, voluntarily reduced hours of 
labor to save breakdown in health. Result ex- 
cellent. Better work, better health, less absence. 
Long ago I personally reduced picking hours in 
the groves. I got better and more work in 
shorter hours. Hope you can see your way clear 
to support measure protecting women and chil- 
dren doing piece work in cold, unheated, barnlike 
packing houses. Claim absurd that industry will 
suffer by passage of this bill. Citrus industry will 
be greatly benefited by shorter hours. Women 
and children need this protection. This is not a 
labor union movement alone but a humanity move- 
ment. Protection league has not referred the 
matter to packing houses and the opposition of 
the league does not voice the wish of fruit grow- 
ers of great Highland district where hours have 
been voluntarily shortened. If you approve will 
you show this message to Senator Avey and As- 
semblyman Bennink. Publish if you wish. 

"' (Signed) Alexis Frye.' 

"After the receipt of this dispatch, I received 
one from the Highland Orange Growers' Associa- 
tion endorsing all that Mr. Frye had wired me. 

"The eight-hour law for women is admittedly 
right in principle; it is the exemplification of 
humanitarianism; its beneficent purpose has long 
since attached to men. It may in some rare in- 
stances work hardship, but in these instances we 
may hereafter, as experience demonstrates the 
necessity, provide a remedy, and I shall not hesi- 
tate in the future, if the necessity becomes ap- 
parent, to ask any proper amendment. I do not 


Legislation for Women and Children. 

believe the law will result in great disaster, finan- 
cial or otherwise. I think that business condi- 
tions will adjust themselves to the law, exactly 
as business conditions have in the past adjusted 
themselves, in every instance, to remedial legisla- 
tion of this character. The purpose of the act, I 
believe, is just, and I have therefore attached my 
signature to the bill." 


The legislature of 1913 improved the law by 
extending its provisions to other lines of industry 
than those enumerated in the original law, includ- 
ing especially hospitals. The amendment was 
aimed directly to prevent the exploitation of stu- 
dent nurses in hospitals. Strong opposition to this 
amendment developed at the legislature, but the 
progressive administration, giving more weight to 
the health and welfare of the student nurses than 
to the pecuniary advantage of the hospitals, en- 
acted the amendment. The amendment does not 
apply to graduate nurses, working for themselves. 
It applies, so far as it affects hospitals, only to 
pupil nurses, who receive extremely small wages, 
approximately $5 per month, for very hard and 
very important work, and for whose services 
many of the hospitals charged their patients at 
the rate of $20 per week. 


5. Age of consent raised from 16 to 18 years. 

6. Men in abandonment cases may be com- 
pelled to work on the roads and the proceeds de- 
voted to the care of wives or children. 


Legislation for Women and Children. 

7. Establishment of industrial welfare commis- 
sion, which will investigate the working conditions 
of women and after due inquiry, fix a minimum 
wage for women. 


8. Commission created to investigate and report 
concerning the adoption of system of old age insur- 
ance and pensions and mothers' pensions. Meanwhile, 
pending the gathering of the required data for the 
enactment of a complete old age and mothers' 
pension statute, provision was made to aid wid- 
owed mothers who maintained a child or children 
at home. 


9. The father as well as the mother of an illegiti- 
mate child was made liable for its support and 

10. The California School for Girls, to which the 
girl inmates of Whittier will be transferred, was 

11. The mother was given equal right with 
the father of a legitimate minor unmarried child 
to its custody, services and earnings. The law 
formerly gave the father a preference over the 

12. A section was added to the civil code pro- 
viding that no assignment of wages or salary of 
a married man shall be valid unless the written 
consent of the wife is attached to such assignment, 
and that no assignment of the salary or wages of 


Legislation for Women and Children. 

a minor shall be valid unless the written consent 
of a parent or guardian of the minor is attached 
to the order. The purpose of this law is to pre- 
vent the grave injustice done to wives by hus- 
bands who assign their salaries from month to 
month to money-lenders, at usurious discounts. 




A very important part of the social work accom- 
plished by the progressive administration has been a 
notable improvement in the penitentiaries and reform 
schools and in the treatment of men condemned as 
criminals. The administration of the two peniten- 
tiaries in this state is now as enlightened as that of 
any prison in the world. Not only are physical con- 
ditions improved in the prisons, but the whole spirit 
of the government toward prisoners has changed. 


Prior to 1911, the convicts at San Quentin had 
been employed in the jute mill, and the convicts at 
Folsom in the rock quarry. In neither place did they 
learn any trade that could benefit them after their 
release. The state prisons meanwhile were being 
maintained at an expense of one-half million dollars 
per year, paid by the taxpayers. With the active en- 
couragement of Governor Johnson, a bill was enacted, 
the design of which was to enable the prisoners of the 
state prisons to manufacture such articles, materials, 
and supplies as may be needed for any public use by 
the state, or any county or municipality, or that may 
be used or required in any state or municipal institu- 
tion, or school. Under the terms of the bill the work 
produced by the prisoners can never be brought into 
competition with free labor. 


Prisons and Reform Schools. 

The prison directors, by authority of this law, have 
begun to manufacture furniture and other articles, and 
to teach trades to the prisoners. At San Quentin, 
the prisoners are making furniture, tinware, clothing 
and shoes. The furniture includes everything used in 
state hospitals, normal schools and in the various 
offices, boards and commissions. For the state institu- 
tions they manufacture tinware, such as is used in 
kitchens and dairy departments. Clothing and shoes 
are manufactured for the hospitals and the home for 
the feeble-minded. 

At Folsom there were no accommodations for the 
establishment of workshops, and no money to erect a 
new building. The legislature of 1913, however, ap- 
propriated $33,000 for the erection of a factory at 
Folsom, and the plans are now well under way. Gov- 
ernor Johnson recommended the prisoner's employ- 
ment bill to the legislature of 1911 in a special mes- 
sage, in which he said: 

governor Johnson's message. 

"In the care and maintenance of convicts, the first 
problem that presents itself to the state is to furnish 
appropriate and rational employment, not only that 
prisoners may be kept from idleness, but that they 
may be taught during the period of their confinement 
useful trades, and may after the expiration of their 
terms be able to follow legitimate employment and to 
rehabilitate themselves. The most efficacious manner 
in which this humanitarian doctrine can be consum- 
mated is in regular hours of employment, in regular 
trades for those who are confined within the prisons, 
and by such regulations to provide the physical and 
mental activity necessary, and thus to afford the pos- 


Prisons and Reform Schools. 

sibility, the hope, and the opportunity for ultimate 

'The other reason why the proposed measure will 
be advantageous is upon the financial side. If permis- 
sion to manufacture and produce the articles men- 
tioned be accorded, the state prisons in great measure 
will be self-supporting, and it is the hope of Warden 
Hoyle, based upon experience in other places, — and 
his hope seems to me justified, — that within a few 
years the state prisons of the state of California, un- 
der the plan suggested, will be wholly self-supporting, 
and will not require further aid of the government. 

"The objection to the manufacture of articles in the 
state prisons comes generally, and justly, I think, from 
the free labor of the state. The purpose of the bill 
that has been introduced is to permit only those arti- 
cles to be manufactured which are used by the state, 
the county, or the municipality, and does not permit 
their sale privately. 

"The restrictions within the bill are such that prison 
labor shall not be brought in competition with free 
labor. The particular measure that has been intro- 
duced has been submitted to the San Francisco labor 
council, and has received the sanction of that body. 

"It is presented to you, therefore, with a full 
knowledge and approval of labor within the state of 

"The cost of maintaining the prisons of the state 
of California is, in round figures, something over half 
a million dollars per annum. If this cost can be met 
in any measure by the proposed plan, apparently it 
should commend itself to us all. Beyond this, if it 
meets the requirements first suggested, of furnishing 
the necessary activity physically and mentally to pris- 
oners, and with the learning of useful trades or occu- 
pations will enable prisoners better to care for them- 
selves after their release, an amply sufficient reason 
is presented for its passage. In order to carry out 


Prisons and Reform Schools. 

the proposed scheme, no appropriation is asked from 
the legislature. 

"Two acts are presented with the bill, which estab- 
lish from the present earnings of the prison a fund 
which may be used in preparing for the manufacture 
and production of the articles named. 

"I might add that the scheme proposed, and indeed 
the bill as drawn, is fashioned upon the law that is 
now in force in the state of New York, and which 
has worked so beneficially there. " 


Striped uniforms have been abolished at San Quen- 
tin, and will be abolished at Folsom as soon as possi- 
ble, except for prisoners of the worst class. At San 
Quentin prisoners have been divided into three classes. 
The prisoner on arrival goes into the second class, 
and is raised to the first class or reduced to the third 
class, according to his conduct. Only prisoners of the 
third class wear stripes. 

Formerly, when a man was received at either of 
the penitentiaries he was measured and turned in with 
the other convicts. Now, at both San Quentin and 
Folsom, he is given a careful physical examination, 
and is assigned to work within his strength. The 
warden interviews him personally and learns what he 
can of his history and character. Medical specialists, 
in various lines, have been induced to visit the pris- 
ons, without compensation, and examine the men. If 
any special treatment or apparatus is required, it is 
supplied by the state, a thing that was never done 

A dentist has been engaged, and the prisoners' 
teeth receive attention. 

4 97 

Prisons and Reform Schools. 

The food is looked after sharply and a better quality 
is furnished, and more of it. 


Not only are schools conducted at the penitentiaries, 
but the university of California has arranged cor- 
respondence courses for the men and an instructor is 
visiting the prison regularly. The courses are very 
well attended. Prisoners are encouraged to complain 
of any unfair treatment and the complaints are in- 
vestigated, and if they are well founded steps are 
taken to do away with the cause of complaint. Pris- 
oners with infectious diseases, who formerly slept and 
played with the rest of the men, are now segregated. 
Corporal punishment has been entirely abolished. 

Paroles are given much more liberally than for- 
merly. During the two years, 1912 and 1913, nearly 
as many men were paroled as had been paroled dur- 
ing the first nineteen years that the parole law was 
in operation. 

At Folsom many needed improvements on the 
buildings have been made, although the work in that 
respect, by reason of the insufficiency of funds, is far 
from complete. 

A ventilating system has been installed, which has 
made a great improvement in the cells. A steady 
stream of fresh air flows through each cell. 

The bathhouse at Folsom formerly was a dilapi- 
dated shack. In a space of twenty feet square a few 
pierced pipes let water down on the men, and in 
this place, summer and winter alike, without regard 
to age or race, and sometimes with an inch of mud 


Prisons and Reform Schools. 

on the floor, over a thousand men were expected to 
bathe. The progressive administration has provided 
a special appropriation of $5000 and with this a con- 
crete bathhouse was built on plans furnished by the 
state board of engineering. Now there is at Folsom 
a swimming tank and many showers. Tanks have 
been set apart for infectious skin and blood diseases, 
something that was never done before at that prison. 

A new laundry has been built and equipped. 

The prison farm has been greatly extended and the 
prisoners now raise all the hay necessary for the 
needs of the institution and will soon be raising 
enough produce to supply the prison mess. Plans 
are also under way for the raising of enough tobacco 
on the prison farms to supply the prisoners. 

An appropriation has been made for a shop build- 
ing and when that is completed the men at Folsom 
will have an opportunity as the men at San Quentin 
now have, to learn a useful trade. 

The legislature appropriated $35,000 for use by 
the state board of prison directors as may be re- 
quired to assist paroled and discharged prisoners and 
secure employment for them. 


A new statute was enacted providing that persons 
imprisoned for felony who are proved to be innocent 
and shall have served the terms for which they were 
imprisoned may, under certain conditions, make 
claims against the state for damages not exceeding 


Prisons and Reform Schools. 


An act was passed making it unlawful for one 
person to communicate to another any statement con- 
cerning a person convicted of a felony who is on 
parole or finally discharged and which communica- 
tion is made with the purpose and intent to deprive 
such person of employment or prevent him from pro- 
curing it. This was designed to prevent the hound- 
ing of ex-convicts. 

A board of parole officers was provided for each 
county, consisting of the sherifif, district attorney, 
chief of police or other chief peace officer. 


Formerly California's two reform schools, — one at 
Whittier in the south, and the other at lone in the 
north, were conducted as junior penitentiaries. 

The progressive administration has managed these 
institutions with a view to the reformation of the 
boys while young. The greatest care has been taken 
in the selection of fit men as superintendents and 
other officers, and the result has been a marvelous 
improvement in the discipline, the spirit, and the 
morality of the boys in the two schools. At the 
Preston school of industry at lone, a junior republic 
has been founded and the boys govern themselves. 
They elect their own officers and administer their 
own punishments for breaches of the rules. The plan 
works with extraordinary success. Trades, as well 
as the elements of literary education, are taught to 
the boys, most of whom are in some way defective 


Prisons and Reform Schools. 

and few of whom have had opportunities for edu- 

While the state maintains two reformatories for 
boys, there is no institution for girls, and wayward 
girls were sent to the boys' school at Whittier. The 
resulting condition was very far from satisfactory. 
The progressive legislature has appropriated $200,000 
for the foundation of a training school for girls, 
which will be managed exclusively by women, and 
will be located in Ventura county. 




Recently at Ukiah, a lawyer of standing and re- 
pute, but one who believed in the divinity of the old 
order, and has viewed the new with trepidation and 
fear, attacked the progressive administration because 
in his county the tax rate had increased; and to the 
extravagance of the state administration he charged 
the present high taxes of his county. The state con- 
troller, John S. Chambers, was present, and in sur- 
prise, mildly informed the learned jurist that since 
1910 state and local taxation had been separated and 
that the state could no longer be held responsible for 
the tax rate in counties. The gentleman of the law, 
whose attack had been made in ignorance, subsided 
with some embarrassment. He was not, however, 
different from many others ; for the charge has re- 
peatedly been made in different counties that the 
state administration has increased the rate of taxa- 
tion. Nothing could be further removed from the 

In 1910 the people adopted a constitutional amend- 
ment changing the mode of taxation in the state and 
separating state from local taxation. By the amend- 
ment, all the revenue of the state derived by taxation, 
comes from public service corporations, insurance 
companies, banks and franchises of corporations. 
No part of the revenue of the state comes from 


New System of Taxation. 

the taxes levied in the counties. Formerly the state 
fixed its rates required for state purposes, the county 
did likewise and the state and county rates were 
then collected by the county and the part due the 
state remitted to it by the county. This is no longer 
so. The county collects only county rates. The 
state collects its taxes from the public service cor- 
porations. When a county, therefore, now has high 
taxes, it is due to the county government alone. 

The constitutional amendment adopted by the peo- 
ple in 1910 was submitted to the people by the legis- 
lature preceding the first progressive legislature. 
The amendment was fathered and fostered and 
passed by the public service corporations and par- 
ticularly the Southern Pacific Company. In itself it 
prescribed the rates that these corporations should 
pay, and provided that the rates could be changed 
only by a two-thirds vote of all the members of 
both houses of the legislature. Of course, it was 
supposed that the rates never could be changed and 
experience of past legislatures justified this belief. 
But the election of 1910 negatived the political wis- 
dom of the previous thirty years, and destroyed all 
the future plans of the old political machine. 

After the trial of the new method of levying taxes, 
it was found that the rates fixed in the constitutional 
amendment did not provide the revenue required by 
the state, and that these rates did not adequately tax 
certain of the public service corporations. To these 
facts, Governor Johnson in his biennial message in 
1913 referred, and in a special message to the legis- 


New System of Taxation. 

lature, transmitted the result of the investigations 
of the state board of equalization and in asking an 
increase of rates of the legislature said: 

"The board finds the average tax rate in the state 
of California for all property except that of the with- 
drawn public service corporations is $1.1386 upon 
each one hundred dollars of actual value. This 
means that the ordinary tax payer in the state pays 
this rate. 

"The average rates of taxes paid by the several 
classes of the withdrawn public service corporations 
as determined upon the basis of a stock and bond 
valuation in accordance with the new tax scheme are : 

"1. For railroads and street railways $0.9092 upon 
$100 of actual value of property. 

"2. For gas and electric companies $0.75. 

"3. For telegraph and telephone companies 

"4. For car companies (Pullman company only) 

"5. For express companies (Wells Fargo & Co. 
only) $1.5413. 

"The situation therefore is obvious. Except in the 
single instance of the express company, which prob- 
ably is not paying any greater sum in taxes than it 
ought, the ordinary taxpayer is paying proportion- 
ately 20 per cent, more than the public service cor- 

The message closed with the request to the legis- 
lature to "increase the rates of taxation of the with- 
drawn corporations to such a sum as shall compel 
them to pay their just proportion of taxes/' 

The legislature by practically unanimous vote, in- 
creased the rates* 


New System of Taxation. 

All the revenue of the state from taxation is de- 
rived from these rates on the public service cor- 
porations named. 

County governments alone are responsible for the 
tax rate paid in the counties. 




In California the people have tried two experi- 
ments in government. For twenty-five years the 
allied corporate interests of the state did the gov- 
erning and the people paid the taxes. During the 
last three years the people have tried the experi- 
ment of governing themselves and letting the cor- 
porations pay the taxes for state government. 

For twenty-five years in California the political 
bureau of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company 
was the recognized supreme governmental agency 
in California. In that political bureau nomina- 
tions for public office and elections were deter- 
mined, the electors on election day engaging prin- 
cipally in sham battles to determine which of the 
railroad men should get the offices. In that po- 
litical bureau the awarding of state contracts was 
determined and the business was placed where it 
did the most good politically. The sole interest 
which the people at large took in the government 
was evinced when they were paying their taxes. 

By a queer coincidence the method of taxation 
in California was changed just at the time that 
the people through the operation of the direct 
primary law decided to take the management of 
their government back to themselves. By this 

106 ' . 

State Board of Control. 

strange political revolution those who formerly 
occupied the position of governing while the peo- 
ple paid the cost were relegated to the position 
of paying the cost while the people governed. 

Now that the people within the next year are 
to determine for themselves which method of gov- 
ernment they prefer, it is entirely fitting that the 
results of both systems should be subjected to the 
most searching inquiry. It is essential that every 
citizen of California should know how the state's 
business was formerly conducted and how it has 
been conducted under the new order of things. 


When Governor Johnson assumed office after 
having been nominated and elected by the direct 
vote of the people he faced many problems, and 
among these was the task of bringing about some 
kind of business system in the conduct of the 
forty-three state departments and twenty-three 
state institutions. The carrying on of these insti- 
tutions and departments in a business-like manner 
presented a problem identical with the administra- 
tion of the affairs of a gigantic corporation en- 
gaged in commercial pursuits. After having sur- 
veyed conditions the state's chief executive decided 
that there was no reason why the business of the 
state of California could not be carried on as 
efficiently and honestly as the business of any 
corporation of like magnitude. He determined to 
install in the state government a body which would 
have over the business and financial affairs of the 


State Board of Control. 

state a power identical with that exercised by the 
general management of a private corporation. He 
had the legislature create the state board of control. 

The state board of control took office June 2, 
1911, vested with practically plenary power over 
the business and financial affairs of the state. This 
investiture carried with it the necessary means 
to carry on investigations, to wipe out any vicious 
practices which might exist,, and in their place 
install a thoroughly modern business system down 
to the last detail. 

It is elementary that the board of control would 
have wasted its time had it endeavored to build 
up a modern business-like system in the depart- 
ments and institutions until it found out what 
conditions prevailed in these departments and in- 
stitutions. The board found it necessary to con- 
duct a number of investigations. While these in- 
vestigations exposed vast frauds and were essential 
to a proper laying out of the work, they were 
merely incidental and were not in any sense an 
ultimate object of the board. The big and main 
work of the board was to systematize the business 
of the state of California in such a way that after 
a reasonable time it could challenge comparison of 
the state's system with the system in vogue in 
those great corporations that are models of mod- 
ern commercial enterprise. 

These investigations, however, are of the great- 
est value for in their record is the record of how 
the people of California were shamelessly de- 
frauded while they paid the bill. The record of 


State Board of Control. 

those investigations containing the confessions of 
theft upon the part of men who had been honored 
for years by the people of the state should stand 
as an everlasting protest against public apathy 
and corrupt political domination. The facts dis- 
closed in these investigations must prove conclu- 
sively to any intelligent person that the price of 
decent government is eternal vigilance on the part 
of the electorate. 

The crimes committed under the old regime are 
chargeable to those who dominated the state's politi- 
cal affairs because those crimes could not have been 
committed had ordinary business precaution been 
taken to prevent them. For the exposure of the 
conditions which existed, the evils which were cor- 
rected, and the modern business system supplanting 
the old method of loot, the board of control claims 
credit on behalf of the first chief executive chosen 
directly by the people of California. 

Because of the thousands of details entering 
into the subject and so as not to confuse persons 
unfamiliar with governmental business it is deemed 
advisable to present first, a general statement of 
the conditions disclosed by the investigations of 
the board of control and a brief detailed statement 
of some of the investigations illustrating each gen- 
eral condition. Then, it is proposed to show what 
have been the results of the investigations in gen- 
eral with a brief detailed statement of those meth- 
ods which have been installed to insure proper 
business organization, efficiency and economy. 


State Board of Control. 

Finally, it is proposed to institute a comparison 
of the costs of the two systems. With this in- 
formation the electorate can easily decide as to 
which system of government it prefers. 


The investigations of the state board of control 
disclosed the following facts: That during the 
twenty years preceding 1910, $200,000,000 of the 
taxpayers' money was expended on the state insti- 
tutions and departments without an audit, the 
result being that no human being can tell what 
became of the money; that the state law govern- 
ing the awarding of contracts was frequently ig- 
nored; that the big majority of reputable business 
houses would not do business with the state; that 
rings of contractors had control of many state 
departments and institutions and practically dic- 
tated the expenditure of millions of dollars; that 
officials occupying positions of trust were stealing 
from the state and co-operating with corrupt con- 
tractors in carrying on frauds against the com- 
monwealth ; that the state was being system- 
atically defrauded by the delivery of inferior ma- 
terials of every character, including unfit food for 
the inmates of its institutions; that many of the 
state records had been destroyed to cover discrep- 
ancies ; that there was no proper system of ac- 
counting; that appropriations were made each two 
years on a log-rolling and political basis without 
any knowledge of the comparative needs of insti- 
tutions and departments; that these appropriations 


State Board of Control. 

were subsequently spent without any supervision, 
the state board of examiners, the supposed audit- 
ing body, not having met for a period of four years 

It is distinctly not stated that every state insti- 
tution and department was in charge of corrupt 
men. Any statement to the effect that all were 
corrupt would be absolutely untrue. Many officials 
in the service of the state endeavored honestly and 
with ability to fight against the abuses that ex- 
isted, but no matter how efficiently they endeav- 
ored to conduct their particular institution they 
found themselves at the mercy of the political 
system which prevailed. The number of those in- 
stitutions and departments which were corruptly 
conducted was startlingly large. The number 
which were inefficiently conducted was still larger. 
The number that were efficiently and honestly con- 
ducted was painfully small, but formed a decid- 
edly happy contrast. 


Perhaps in no other single instance were the 
people of the state so systematically defrauded and 
so directly robbed as they were through the 
agency of the state printing office as it was con- 
ducted. The state printing office stood as a 
monument to the old method of carrying on state 
business, and within its operations included prac- 
tically every governmental vice that has ever been 
invented. The facts here stated concerning the state 
printing office were proved by witnesses under oath 


State Board of Control. 

in a legislative investigation, in which the board of 
control presented the evidence. 

The campaign expenses of the state printer were 
paid by four business firms. These four business 
firms had a monopoly on the enormous business of 
furnishing the state printing office with supplies 
which were used in the manufacture of text-books 
for California's children and in the manufacture 
of all books and stationery used by the state insti- 
tutions and departments. No other business firm 
could get a contract to supply the printing office, 
these four firms having had a monopoly for fifteen 

In one order of text-book paper furnished by 
one of these firms, amounting to $62,000, the 
amount of dishonest profit was $21,000. The bill 
was disallowed by the board of control, and the 
same identical paper was subsequently bought for 
less than $41,000. 

Another of these firms had stocked up the state 
warehouse with bindery supplies and submitted 
bilk for $21,000. The goods were marked "finest 
quality" and were charged for at the highest prices. 
Experts declared the goods to be of third quality 
and the prices "extortionate." The board of con- 
trol disallowed the bill and forced the removal of 
all the supplies from the state warehouse. 

Two ink manufacturers divided the ink business. 
They had had it for fifteen years and had been 
charging $2.50 per pound for their product. The 
board of control rejected their bills and bought 
the same quality of ink for 30 cents per pound. 


State Board of Control. 

Approximately twenty employees of the state 
printing office were carried for political reasons, 
the amount of work they did being negligible. 
Several poor women whose husbands had been 
killed running their trains on the Southern Pacific 
railroad as engineers, through the kindness of its 
political bureau were put on the state pay-roll so as 
to support their children. Other employees were 
carried on the pay-roll at the request of prominent 

There was no cost system in the printing estab- 
lishment, and the prices of text-books, as well as 
of all other work, were fixed on a guess by the 
state printer. 

These details will illustrate the conditions which 
existed. The mothers and fathers of California 
paid for it every time they bought a school book. 
The price of each particular school book which 
the parent purchased was approximately just twice 
what it should be. 

The state printer resigned under fire; the ring 
of contractors was broken up and its members had 
to take their stuff away from the state's ware- 
house; an expert was brought to Sacramento under 
contract to put into the plant the most modern 
cost system that could be devised ; all reputable 
firms were invited to bid for the state's business, 
and as the result of honest competition the above- 
mentioned low prices were secured ; a new state 
printer was appointed; he discharged all useless 
employees and hired only competent help ; the plant 
was put upon a thorough business basis and the 


State Board of Control. 

result was the reduction within six months of the 
price of every text-book an average of 42 per cent. 
The state text-book fund which had been mortgaged 
in the sum of $56,000 for the benefit of the con- 
tracting ring, within a year showed a credit bal- 
ance of $162,000 in spite of the fact that the prices 
of text-books had been cut practically in half. 
The cost of printing for the departments and in- 
stitutions which had been done at outrageous prices 
is now done for less than any commercial concern 
can do the same work, the state having no rent or 
profit to charge for in its prices. 

The facts regarding the state printing office 
aptly illustrate the ridiculous character of a system 
under which so many abuses could flourish for 
fifteen years. These facts also show how a de- 
partment created for the benefit of the people of 
the state was turned into an agency to rob them. 
Let us next consider what happened in some of 
the institutions which were founded to care for 
the unfortunate insane. 


At the Napa state hospital insanity was appar- 
ently considered an offense and the patients were 
looked upon as a necessary nuisance. 

The medical superintendent confessed that he 
had been delinquent in connection with the pur- 
chase of hay for the institution and paid the money 
back. The medical superintendent in addition to 
a twenty-two room mansion on the main driveway 
had built for his personal use a beautiful bunga- 


State Board of Control. 

low on the shores of the state reservoir, while hun- 
dreds of patients slept on the floors and in garrets 
that were foul-smelling and a menace to health. 
While the finest quality of food was paid for by the 
state, that which was furnished to the medical super- 
intendent complied with the specifications, but that 
which was furnished to the patients was inferior in 
quality and often unfit for consumption. Two of 
the contractors, admitted under oath that they had 
never made a single shipment that complied with the 
specifications. The steward of the hospital admitted 
that he knew nothing concerning the deliveries or 
books of the institution, and that he had simply enjoyed 
the position as a political appointment. A foreman 
plumber admitted padding the state payroll and charg- 
ing the state commissions on all purchases he made 
as foreman plumber. Several head attendants ad- 
mitted under oath a system of peonage under which 
they had worked patients for several years on ranches 
and at other tasks, paying them nothing. The con- 
dition of the beautiful buildings which had been con- 
structed at an enormous cost to the state showed that 
they had been allowed to deteriorate through crim- 
inal negligence. While the superintendent's residence 
was the social center of the community the conditions 
under which the patients lived were shameful. 

The medical superintendent was discharged from 
the state's employ after paying back the money he 
had wrongfully taken; the other state employees who 
had been engaged in like activities were discharged ; 
graft, waste and extravagance were eliminated ; the 
dishonest contractors were barred from further par- 


State Board of Control. 

ticipation in the state's business ; a new medical super- 
intendent of the highest ability was placed in charge 
of the institution and he took up the work of trans- 
forming the institution so as to carry out the purpose 
for which it was founded — the care of the unfortunate 
insane. The project of providing sanitary and decent 
quarters for hundreds of insane who had been hud- 
dled in garrets and on floors has been carried out at 
a huge cost; and the task of rehabilitating the struc- 
tures which had been allowed to deteriorate is being 
carried out with a liberal expenditure. 

The systematizing of the institution will be dis- 
cussed in connection with the constructive work of 
the board of control. 


In the Southern California hospital it w T as found 
that the steward was engaged in petty graft, while the 
medical superintendent was using the institution to 
supplement his own income. 


In the state prison at Folsom the cream from the 
state's farm was being made into butter by the state's 
convicts and the butter was then sold to the state at 
the prevailing market quotations. 


In the state board of medical examiners it was 
found that the secretary, a physician who had held 
his position of trust for twelve years, had taken 


State Board of Control. 

$1300 of the state's money. He was required to pay 
it back and was discharged. 


In the state board of examiners in optometry it 
was found that members had paid themselves three 
days' fees for one day's work every time they met. 
They also gave banquets at the state's expense and 
one of the members frequently without authoriza- 
tion loaned himself as much as $1200 of the state's 
money. The members were required to refund 
$2,570.60 and were dismissed from the state's service. 

In the department of engineering it was found that 
an employee in charge of construction at San Quentin 
was one of the owners of a barge company hauling 
sand and rock to the state's property. He did the 
measuring and kept the accounts for both the state 
and the company. He also owned a commissary 
store at a quarry where paroled convicts under his 
charge did the work. The state and paroled prisoners 
suffered financially by the arrangement. The engi- 
neering department employee was required to refund 
the money and was discharged. 

In the state mining bureau, state board of health, 
other institutions and other departments, irregularities 
and discrepancies were found and those responsible 
were held accountable for the conditions. 

There was not and never has been on the part of 
the board of control any disposition to hold up to 
public condemnation those officers or those institu- 
tions in which there has been a lack of efficiency due 
to the system and not to criminality. There was no 


State Board of Control. 

business system in vogue and it would have been 
grossly unfair to condemn those who had done the 
best they could. Hundreds of instances of improper 
business methods have been corrected by the board of 
control without comment and in each particular in- 
stitution and department new methods have been in- 
stalled without friction. 

Having thus far considered some of the methods 
which prevailed under former regimes, it is the pur- 
pose to point out what was done to prevent a recur- 
rence of these abuses. The instances quoted have not 
been quoted for the pleasure of condemning the 
particular men who were involved and disgraced, and 
for that reason no names have been mentioned. The 
purpose of the recitation has been to point out the 
various types of abuses which grew up when the 
people took no interest in their own government, and 
which will grow up again unless the people continue 
to take an intelligent interest in their own affairs. 

These investigations while of great benefit to the 
state did not in the aggregate have one-tenth the 
value to the people of the state of any one of a 
dozen constructive policies inaugurated by the board 
of control which it is now the intention to discuss. 


In a consideration of the constructive work accom- 
plished, it is necessary to bear in mind that many 
evils existed that had to be eradicated, and the chief 
of these was the idea that was quite prevalent that 
the state's business was to be placed where it would 
do the most good politically. 


State Board of Control. 

It became apparent early that the greatest safe- 
guard to the state was to purchase everything possible 
under contract and to eliminate in so far as possible 
non-contract purchases. With this fact established, 
it was necessary to pay particular attention to the 
manner in which contracts were awarded. The pro- 
visions of law governing the awarding of contracts 
had been dead for some time. 


As its first step, the board communicated with 
every chamber of commerce, merchants' exchange, 
and businessmen's organization of every kind in Cali- 
fornia of which any record could be secured, asking 
these associations and organizations to have their 
members take an interest in the state's business and 
compete for contracts. In this communication, the 
board undertook to guarantee to every bidder an ab- 
solutely square deal, and pointed out that any bidder 
who felt aggrieved by any award made by an insti- 
tution or department could take an appeal to the 
state board of control and have the matter deter- 
mined on its merits. 

Many firms which had had experience with the 
state's business were skeptical, — thanked the board 
for its courtesy, but refused to bid. That was two 
years and a half ago. Most of those firms are now 
doing business with the state. 

The general response to the invitation to bid was 
most gratifying, with the result that where eight or 
ten firms formerly divided the business at different 


State Board of Control. 

state institutions, the number of bidders has risen to 
between 150 and 200. 

The board was organized June 5, 1911, and in that 
same month the annual supply contracts for the state 
institutions were awarded. The influx of new bidders 
and the guaranty given by this board resulted in the 
filing of more than 300 appeals from the decisions of 
local boards. These appeals and the facts which 
they brought out served to show that the specifica- 
tions furnished by the state upon which the bids 
were submitted, were at fault in a great many in- 
stances. They operated in such a way as to allow 
the ruling out of practically anything submitted by a 
bidder. The law provided for the awarding of con- 
tracts to the lowest responsible bidders. This law 
was rendered inoperative by confusing the specifica- 
tions in such a manner that none but favored con- 
tractors would know what was desired. 

The provision of law directing the awarding of 
contracts to the lowest responsible bidder is a wise 
one. The objection raised frequently to the effect 
that it operates in favor of cheap and undesirable 
goods is based on ignorance of the facts or on dis- 
honesty. It can be said without fear of successful 
contradiction that if a state officer honestly and in- 
telligently draws specifications covering an article de- 
sired he can secure competition and receive the best 
goods at the lowest price. This has been demon- 
strated many times in the last two years. The fol- 
lowing list will show the effect which the renewal 
of honest competition had upon the prices of sup- 
plies furnished the state printing office: 


State Board of Control. 

Old New age in old 
price. price, prices. 
Book paper for school books, 31x42-80$ 

per lb $ 0.0665 $ 0.044 51% 

Book paper for school books, 34x51- 

100J per lb 0665 .044 51% 

Book paper, S. & S. C, per lb 063 .0455 39% 

Book paper, M. F., per lb 052 .043 21% 

Book paper, eggshell, per lb 06 .049 22% 

Gummed paper, white, non- curling, 

per lb 16 .15 6% 

Gummed paper, colored, non -curling, 

per lb 26 .15 73% 

Bond paper, Crane's (list less disc), 

discounts 32% 35% 3% 

Bond paper, high grade, per lb 30 .18 66% 

Bond paper, good grade, per lb 19 .12 58% 

Envelopes, bond, high grade (list less 

disc), per M 2.35 1.80 30% 

Bond paper, linen finish, high grade, 

per lb 32 .209 53% 

Plat paper, good grade, per lb 195 .091 114% 

Flat paper, medium grade, per lb 12 .078 54% 

Flat paper, colored, superwove, per lb. .13^ .107 26% 

Ledger, good grade, per lb 375 .135 178% 

Chemical Manila, pink or blue, per lb. .06 .0215 179% 

Card board, 120, high grade, per sheet .05 .0215 132% 

Card board, 140, high grade, per sheet .065 .026 150% 

Card board, 120, colored, per sheet 065 .0145 348% 

Blanks, 6-ply, per sheet 0325 .028 16% 

Railroad board, 6-ply, colored, per sheet .04 .027 48% 

Index Bristol, 110, per sheet 0336 .033 2% 

Cover paper, S. & S. C, per lb 12 .0595 101% 

Cover paper, rough finish, in colors, 

per lb 12 .09 33% 

Envelopes, XXX, good grade, No. 6*4, 

per M 1.12 .96 16% 

Envelopes, XXX, good grade, No. 6%, 

per M 1.20 1.05 14% 

Envelopes, XXX, good grade, No. 9, 

Per M 1.88 1.59 18% 

Envelopes, XXX, good grade, No. 10, 

Per M 2.11 1.80 17% 


State Board of Control. 

Envelopes, XXX, good grade, No. 11, 

per M 

Envelopes, Columbian Clasp (list less 

disc.) discount 

American Russia buffings, per ft 

American Russia Cowhide, per ft 

Calf, assorted, per ft 

Roans, assorted, No. 1 quality, per skin 

Bark skivers, XXX, per skin 

Binders' book cloth, assorted T grain, 

per yd 

Gold leaf, deep, XXX, per pack 

Gold leaf, pale, XXX, per pack 

Muslin, Indian Head, per yd 

Strawboard, No. 20, No. 30, pasted and 

unpasted, per ton 

Tarboard, No. 30, 23x31^, per ton..... 

Super, grey, XX, per yd 

Twine, soft, in skeins, per lb 

Black ink, half-tone, per lb 

Book ink, per lb 

Black ink, job, best quality, per lb... 

Bond ink, best quality, per lb 

Blue ink, job, ultramarine, per lb 

Blue ink, bronze, per lb 

Copying ink, colors as ordered, per lb. 

Red ink, Geranium Lake, per lb 

Red ink, Scarlet Lake, per lb 

Red ink, Rose Lake, per lb 

Red ink, Cherry Lake, per lb 

Yellow ink, Chrome, per lb 

White ink, per lb 

Laketine, per lb 

Varnish, reducing, 000, per gal... 

Varnish, Damar, per gal 



age in old 





37V2% 17% 

















.1233%. 508% 
















.06i/ 2 

.04^ 53% 































. 3.00 






















The facts heretofore set forth have dealt entirely 
with the state's purchases under contracts and the 
steps which have been taken to enforce honest com- 


State Board of Control. 

petition and awarding of contracts. Because of cir- 
cumstances surrounding particular supplies approxi- 
mately 15 per cent, of what the state uses is bought 
in the open market. These are termed non-contract 

In the matter of non-contract supplies the condi- 
tions which existed were more flagrantly vicious than 
in connection with the contract supplies. At most of 
the institutions these supplies were purchased with- 
out a pretense of competition, certain favored firms 
getting the business and charging exorbitant prices. 
This system inspired dishonest officials to place as 
much of the purchasing as possible under non-con- 

The rule established and enforced by this board 
is, that on every non-contract purchase for the state 
at least three reputable firms must have an oppor- 
tunity to submit bids. These bids must be submitted 
to this board in advance of the purchase. This rule 
has the two-fold virtue of discouraging non-contract 
buying where unnecessary and of securing legitimate 
competition on necessary non-contract supplies. 

The wonderful improvement in prices on goods 
supplied to the state printing office is indicative of 
what happened all along the line in institutions and 
departments. Reputable firms, assured of equal op- 
portunity in bidding, and equally assured that they 
would not have to do "favors" for public officials to 
get their money, were delighted to compete and win 
the business at honest prices. 

An examination of the records of California's 


State Board of Control. 

forty-three state departments and twenty-three insti- 
tutions will show conclusively that the restoration 
of honest competition alone has resulted in a saving 
of not less than $1,000,000 to the commonwealth. 


The enforcement of honesty and square dealing in 
the awarding of contracts would prove of little benefit 
to the state unless steps were subsequently taken to 
make certain that the state got what it paid for. A 
favorite method of defrauding the state under the 
old system was to allow a favored firm to submit a 
bid at about cost on a given article. Of course 
reputable firms would provide for a fair and legiti- 
mate profit and could not equal the low bid. Sub- 
sequently, the favored firm would deliver, not the 
article bid upon, but an inferior article for which the 
bid price would be exorbitant. 

It was a matter of common knowledge in the city 
of San Francisco that certain supplies which were 
rejected as unfit to use at the relief home were 
shipped the following days to the Napa state hos- 
pital and there accepted. The entire system was ex- 
posed in the confession of one of the contractors to 
the board. In this manner the state was not only 
defrauded but its wards were required to subsist on 
inferior food and to accept inferior articles generally. 

This practice also obtained in relation to other sup- 
plies furnished the state institutions and departments. 
To meet this condition and enforce square dealing 
as between the state and the contractors, the board 
constituted the pure food and drug laboratory of 


State Board of Control. 

the University of California the judge of the quality 
of all food supplies and drugs delivered to state in- 
stitutions. The assistance rendered by the laboratory 
has been invaluable, and in this field alone it has more 
than justified the money appropriated for its support. 

Every contractor has given a bond for the faithful 
performance of his contract. Every executive officer 
of an institution is personally responsible for the char- 
acter of supplies accepted. The state demands full 
value for what it pays, and if the quality of any 
delivery is questioned, it is settled by reference to 
the pure food and drug laboratory. The decision 
of the laboratory is final. If a delivery is inferior, 
the supplies needed are purchased in the open market 
and charged against the contractor's bond. 

It can safely be said that with the general class of 
firms now doing business with the state and the 
knowledge of the system in vogue, there is seldom 
any intentional attempt to defraud. Some firms, how- 
ever, must be watched continuously. The vigilance 
of the local officials and the co-operation of the pure 
food and drug laboratory, through its inspectors, are 
absolute guaranties of proper deliveries. 

The testing laboratory of the state engineering 
department renders final judgment on the quality of 
all purchases of oil, building material, blankets, fuel 
and supplies of like character. It exercises the same 
function in relation to these supplies as the pure 
food and drug laboratory does to food and drugs. 
The assistance rendered has been excellent and val- 

All institutions and departments are required to 


State Board of Control. 

keep a record of the goods rejected and the firms 
making delivery. If a comparison of these records 
demonstrates that any particular firm is intentionally 
attempting to defraud the state, such records consti- 
tute the basis to bar the firm from bidding for state 
business in the future. 


With the matter of contracts safeguarded and the 
system of testing established, it was necessary to sys- 
tematize the methods of ordering supplies and of 
handling claims when submitted for payment. 

Under the old methods the average time of paying 
claims against the state was between thirty and forty- 
five days. This was due partly to the fact that it was 
difficult to get the signatures of two members of the 
state board of examiners, who were busy with mat- 
ters in their own departments, and had no opportu- 
nity to find out what they were signing. But in large 
part the delays were due to disputes arising about 
purchases. Under the system then in vogue, pur- 
chases were made and the firm furnishing goods was 
forced to wait for its money until disputes were set- 
tled. Under the pre-audit system inaugurated in all 
state institutions and departments by the board, all 
questions as to propriety of a purchase, price, etc., 
are settled in advance of the purchase. 

The pre-audit system provides that the executive 
head of each state institution and department shall 
furnish the board prior to the twentieth of each month 
a certified estimate of the needs of his institution for 
the next succeeding month. These estimates are de- 


State Board of Control. 

tailed and set forth prospective contract and non- 
contract purchases, together with the necessary bids 
on the latter. These estimates are accurate just in 
that degree to which the executive head of an insti- 
tution or department is familiar with the institution 
or department of which he is in charge. Experience 
has demonstrated that the most accurate estimates 
are submitted by those executives who take a lively 
and proper interest in the departments of their re- 
spective institutions. Referring to the estimates sub- 
mitted will afford to the chief executive of the state 
a fairly accurate idea of the capacity for management 
displayed by any officer in charge of a state institution. 

These estimates when submitted are examined in 
detail; improper or unnecessary purchases are elimi- 
nated; where an institution or department needs any 
supply of which another institution has a surplus, the 
transfer is arranged for; this board is enabled to cut 
all expenditures to keep within the one-twenty-fourth 
expenditure provision of the statutes; causes leading 
to deficiencies become apparent; and finally, every 
question regarding a given purchase is settled in ad- 
vance and a proper foundation laid for the subse- 
quent audit of the claim resulting from the purchase. 
After thorough examination the estimates are ap- 
proved and returned to the institutions and depart- 
ments prior to the first of the month and the ap- 
proved purchases are then made. 

One illustration will suffice to show the efficacy of 
the system. On December 1, 1910, the state printer 
placed with a paper company an order for $62,000 
worth of text-book paper. It was subsequently de- 


State Board of Control. 

monstrated that there was already on hand enough of 
every kind of paper to run the state printing office for 
at least one year and enough of some varieties to run 
the office for from three to ten years. The illegiti- 
mate profit in this one order amounted to $21,000. 
Payment had been made for $14,000 worth of the 
paper before the board of control came into existence. 
The balance of $48,000 was never paid because the 
board forced the company to take back the paper. 

There was no pre-audit system in operation at the 
time, and it is probable that if the contractor had not 
attempted to charge an extortionate price he could 
have made the state pay for a tremendous stock of 
paper which it did not need. Under a pre-audit sys- 
tem this order could never have been given, because 
the state printer would have been unable to show the 
need for it. The paper order was merely one of 
numerous others of like character. 

The matter of emergency purchases for which it is 
impossible to estimate in advance can be dismissed 
with the statement that they are allowed on the per- 
sonal responsibility of the executive officer of each in- 
stitution and department. 

The pre-audit system is based on sound principles 
and is identical with the methods of internal govern- 
ment in vogue in the best managed corporations ir 
the country. Its cost is insignificant. The economy 
and efficiency which it produces are worth many thou- 
sands of dollars. 


With the estimates disposed of and purchases made, 
the next problem has been to facilitate the handling 

State Board of Control. 

of the claims based on the purchases. The average 
time of handling claims from the time they are filed 
with the institutions until warrants are drawn by the 
state controller, has been cut down to fifteen days. 
This is a saving of approximately thirty days and 
has enabled the state to take advantage of a great 
many discounts, besides the most desirable features 
of putting the state into the class of preferred cus- 

Fifteen days, however, is considered too long a 
period and should be shortened. The shortening of 
this period is made practically impossible by the stat- 
utory requirement that claims against institutions be 
audited by the local boards. The claims must be held 
at the institutions until the regular monthly board 
meetings which occur in the first eleven days. This 
delay causes a loss to the state of ten-day discounts 
which could be secured by prompt forwarding of the 
claims for audit, and it can be said on the advice of 
the members of the local boards that their approval, 
when secured to the claims, is worthless. These facts 
are stated without the slightest disrespect to any local 
board, it being obvious that men engaged in large 
business affairs who meet for two days each month at 
a state institution cannot possibly have the time to 
properly investigate and audit from fifty to one hun- 
dred claims. 

The elimination of this necessity for approval of 
local boards will abate no safeguard and will enable 
the state to pay its bills within ten days, taking ad- 
vantage of the generous discounts provided for such 
payments. An average discount of 3 per cent, on 
5 129 

State Board of Control. 

the state's annual supply bill of $5,000,000 will mean 
a saving of $150,000 annually. 


Logically, in the conduct of the business of the 
state, it is necessary to have an accurate idea of what 
the state owns. This can only be known through an 
inventory scientifically worked out. Such an inven- 
tory will be automatically completed under the uni- 
form system of accounting which has already been 
installed in the institutions and departments. 

It would be idle to attempt to estimate the amount 
of money which the state has lost through lack of 
supervision of the property which it has owned. 
Neglect and lack of system have been accountable for 
more of the loss than dishonesty. The discarding of 
equipment, implements, machinery and supplies of 
every character, also buildings and land, without 
proper accounting, has entailed a loss the proportions 
of which few of the people of the state realize. 

It is planned to have a comprehensive and detailed 
inventory of every article that the state owns com- 
pleted within the next year. This inventory will be 
kept alive and will afford a proper check on all in- 
stitutions and departments. 


As an example of the lack of business system which 
existed in the management of the state's affairs gen- 
erally may be cited the fact that the accounts of the 
state had not been audited for a period of twenty 
years. During this time approximately $200,000,000 
was expended upon state institutions and departments. 


State Board of Control. 

The difficulties presented by this state of affairs can 
well be imagined. These difficulties had to be met by 
the accounting department organized by the board of 
control. The accounting department has completed 
audits of the accounts of all state hospitals, prisons, 
reformatories and charitable institutions, of all the 
vocational boards and of the departments of the state 
government. In addition to this a uniform system of 
accounting has been formulated for all the state in- 
stitutions and departments, and is actually installed 
and being operated. Another important work has 
been the devising and installing of cost systems where 

The sole attempt up to the present time to defraud 
:the state under the uniform system of accounting 
occurred in the Southern California state hospital. 
The private secretary to the medical superintendent, 
a trusted employee in charge of funds and records, 
embezzled $1002. His shortage was quickly estab- 
lished by one of the board of control accountants 
during a regular audit of the accounts of the insti- 
tution. The employee was under bond. The total 
sum was paid back to the state, and the employee, 
having confessed, was turned over to the authorities 
of San Bernardino county. He pleaded guilty in court 
and was admitted to probation under a three-year 
prison sentence. 

This incident not only illustrates the value of the 
new uniform system of accounting, but demonstrates 
• that regular auditing is absolutely essential to the 
proper conduct of any business. 

Upon the efficiency of the accounting department 


State Board of Control. 

of the state government will depend in a large de- 
gree the efficiency of its business methods. 

This board has selected its accountants solely on 
the basis of merit, and the results have been excellent. 
The present superintendent and his first assistant 
were selected from a large number of applicants, as 
provided by law. Neither one was ever known to 
any member of the board previously. Neither one 
had any influence of any kind or character exerted in 
his behalf. 

The second assistant now in the department was 
promoted to his present position from the grade of 
junior accountant. He and the remaining junior ac- 
countants were chosen after competitive examinations. 


The final accomplishment of the board of control 
in the work of putting the state's afifairs on a business- 
like basis was the budget presented to the 1913 ses- 
sion of the legislature. This budget was the first 
ever drawn in the history of California or of any 
other state in the United States, although it is on the 
budget basis that every efficiently managed private 
corporation makes its apportionment of moneys each 
year. In this respect the lead of California has been 
followed by the state of New York, which will for- 
mulate its public expenditures during the year 1914 
by means of the budget. Other states which have 
secured their data from the state board of control 
will undoubtedly adopt the system in the near future. 

Instead of the mad scramble for appropriations 
which usually disgraced a session of the legislature, 


State Board of Control. 

California last year witnessed its legislature making 
appropriations for its institutions and departments on 
a scientific basis, after the needs of all had been thor- 
oughly investigated. Six months prior to the con- 
vening of the legislature, the board of control began 
its work of investigating the financial needs of all 
departments and institutions. This was completed 
and a scientific report placed in the hands of the gov- 
ernor two weeks prior to the convening of the legis- 
lature. When the legislature met each member had 
before him an accurate report of the needs of all de- 
partments and institutions. 

In former sessions of the legislature the executive 
heads of institutions and departments were forced to 
come to Sacramento to beg from the political powers 
enough money on which to run their particular de- 
partment or institution. During the 1913 session the 
heads of institutions and departments remained where 
they belonged, at their respective posts. 

When the legislature adjourned, Governor Johnson 
directed that a financial statement be given to the 
people of the state so that, should they desire, they 
would have full opportunity to subject to the refer- 
endum any expenditure attempted to be made. This 
financial statement was the first ever published in the 
history of California, and it is a notable fact there 
was no objection to any expenditure. 


Having considered the methods in vogue when the 
corporate interests did the governing and the people 
paid the bill, and having considered the methods 


State Board of Control. 

which the people's representatives have established, 
now that the corporations are paying the taxes, it is 
proper, in conclusion, to consider the cost of each. 

In every growing community and state it is ele- 
mentary that the cost of operation increases with the 
continued growth, the same as in a private corpora- 
tion. The feature which is of vital interest to the 
taxpayers is the reasonableness of the increase and 
a knowledge of the purposes to which the increase is 
to be devoted. 


What became of the increases under previous ad- 
ministrations no man can say, for the reason that 
many of the records were destroyed and the affairs of 
the state had been allowed to proceed for twenty years 
without an audit, during that twenty years the 
sum of $200,000,000 was expended in the main- 
tenance of the state departments and institu- 


State Board of Control. 


The Johnson administration can render an account- 
ing for every dollar expended under its direction. 
The first financial statement in the history of the state 
was given to the public at the direction of the gov- 
ernor at the conclusion of the 1913 session of the 
legislature, showing exactly the purpose for which 
each dollar was to be expended. 

Some of the principal appropriations which enter 
into the increase under Johnson are the following: 

Free text-books $ 500,000 

Girls' training school (new) 200,000 

Hospital for insane (new) 250,000 

Fresno normal school (new) 215,000 

University of Cal. (imp'ts) 457,000 

College of agriculture of university of 

Cal. (increase) 500,000 

San Diego exposition 200,000 

Los Angeles exposition 60,000 

State library (increase) 100,000 

State capitol (imp'ts) 75^000 

Rectification of rivers 225,000 

California reclamation board 100,000 

California railroad commission 368,000 

State board of control 96,000 

Civil service commission 50,000 

Industrial accident commission (em- 
ployers' liability) 267,000 

State mining bureau (increase) 46,000 

These items taken at random from the financial 
records show the purpose for which the money is 
being devoted. 

This money is being raised by increased assess- 


State Board of Control. 

ments against the Southern Pacific Railroad and other 
public utility corporations. 

The enumeration above does not include an ad- 
vance from the state treasury of $500,000 which was 
made to insure the carrying on of the great construc- 
tive work of improving San Francisco's harbor in 
time for the exposition. Because of demoralization 
in the bond market, $7,000,000 of the San Francisco 
harbor bonds went begging. Governor Johnson au- 
thorized the investment of $3,000,000 of surplus state 
funds in these bonds and insured the sale of the re- 
mainder by an advance of $500,000 necessary as a 
commission. Without the interposition of the state's 
chief executive California's greatest harbor would 
have presented a crippled condition when the navies 
of the world entered it in 1915. 


Summarizing the entire matter, therefore, we find 
when the political bureau of a corporation adminis- 
tered the government and the people paid the taxes, 
graft, waste and extravagance flourished unchecked; 
men holding positions of public trust devoted their at- 
tention principally to looting the state treasury and 
enriching themselves and their friends; state depart- 
ments were conducted for the benefit of politicians, 
regardless of the purposes for which they were 
created, and the wards of the state were looked upon 
as a necessary nuisance; there was no attempt to sys- 
tematize the business of the state, but on the con- 
trary, records were destroyed to cover up shortages 
and discrepancies ; the net result of it all being that 


State Board of Control. 

the people at large had nothing to say regarding their 
own government, but were required to pay an in- 
crease of 20.7 per cent, in appropriations every two 

Within the last three years under a governor se- 
lected directly by the people, and with the corpora- 
tions paying the taxes, graft, waste and extravagance 
have been eliminated from the public service; Cali- 
fornia's forty-three state departments and twenty- 
three institutions are being conducted in the interest 
of the people at large and for the purposes for which 
they were created; the business of the state has been 
systematized until comparison with efficiently managed 
private corporations is challenged; this systematizing 
has resulted in a saving, conservatively stated, of not 
less than $2,000,000 per year ; and the greatest growth 
in the history of the state has been met with the 
smallest increase in appropriations. 

What has been accomplished would be well worth 
while even if it were accomplished without a struggle. 
Accomplished in the face of the most villainous cam- 
paign of abuse ever waged against a chief executive 
of California, it should be doubly valuable to those 
in the interest of whom the fight was made, the peo- 
ple of the state of California. 

What has been accomplished stands as a tribute to 
the constructive statesmanship of Governor Hiram 
W. Johnson, and as a monument to his steadfastness 
of purpose in the interest of the people of the state 
of California. 

Even though all that has been accomplished were 
to be wiped out in the future, no one could deprive 


State Board of Control. 

California of the distinction of having been govern- 
mentally decent and respectable at least for a period 
of four years. To assert that the people of Califor- 
nia, knowing the truth of the conditions which for- 
merly prevailed and of what has been accomplished in 
the last three years, would revert to former condi- 
tions would be to slur the intelligence of California's 




The railroad commission, elected with Governor 
Johnson in the campaign of 1910, assumed office in 
January, 1911. This commission consisted of John 
M. Eshleman, H. D. Loveland and Alex Gordon. 
The measure of its authority was defined in the so- 
called Wright act. Thereafter, during the year 1911, 
the state legislature substituted the Eshleman-Stetson 
railroad commission act, which widened the powers 
of the board. Its authority, however, was still con- 
fined to railroads. In 1912 the legislature passed 
the public utilities act, which enlarged the commis- 
sion to five and extended the jurisdiction to include 
steam and electric railroads, express companies, elec- 
tric, light, gas and power companies, telephone and 
telegraph companies, water utilities, warehousemen 
and wharfingers. This act became effective on March 
23d, and the commission was enlarged by the appoint- 
ment by the governor of Max Thelen and Edwin O. 
Edgerton. The commission organized by the election 
of John M. Eshleman, president, and Charles R. 
Detrick, secretary. 

The period covered by these three years has been 
a season of intense activity in the regulation of the 
public utilities of the state. Previous to the adop- 
tion of the public utilities act the work of the com- 
mission was concerned almost entirely with railroads. 


Public Utilities. 

At the present time, railroad matters occupy less than 
one-half of the calendar. 


The general results accomplished by regulation 
since January, 1911, when the present governor as- 
sumed office, may be divided into two divisions ; moral 
and economic. It is the practice to lay stress par- 
ticularly upon the economic accomplishment. It is 
true that the decisions of the commission have re- 
sulted in the saving to the people of the state of ap- 
proximately $6,000,000 per year. More deeply rooted, 
however, and more essential to the permanent wel- 
fare of the state is the moral effect. The achieve- 
ment of greatest moment through the medium of the 
railroad commission has been the establishment per- 
manently of the people's control over private corpora- 
tions in the state of California. Before the present 
state administration took office, it was an accepted fact 
that large public service corporations controlled the 
government of California, and that this control was 
vested particularly in the largest public service cor- 
poration of the state. The primary idea in the minds 
of those who gave to this railroad commission its 
extensive powers, was the overthrow of the domi- 
nance of these public service corporations. The com- 
mission believes that the control of the people over 
these public service corporations has been so posi- 
tively fixed and determined that not even the most 
arrogant of these great corporations now doubts it. 


This has been referred to as a moral accomplish- 
ment. Such it is. The last decade in American his- 

Public Utilities. 

tory is the story of the assertion of the human right 
above the property right and in no state in the union 
has this assertion been supported by more efficient 
deeds than it has in the state of California. The 
property of individual men is being made to serve 
the purposes of the community of men. 

Under the old order in California, communities of 
men were made to serve the purposes of individual 
men. The long continuance of such a relationship 
means the destruction of individual independence and 
initiative. With the overthrow of the political power 
of these great public service corporations and their 
subjection to the control of the people must come 
that re-assertion of individual independence and ini- 
tiative, which makes for the betterment of mankind. 
This more than all else makes the work of the rail- 
road commission worth while. 


The jurisdiction of the commission extends over 
1147 utilities, classified as follows: 

Steam railroads 57 

Electric railroads 42 

Express companies 5 

Electric light, gas and power utilities. . . 170 

Telephone and telegraph utilities 221 

Water utilities 392 

Warehousemen 235 

Wharves 25 

Total 1147 


Public Utilities. 

These utilities reported to the commission com- 
bined assets in excess of four billions of dollars. 
This may afford a measure by which to judge the 
magnitude of the operations over which this com- 
mission has jurisdiction. 

From the date of its organization in 1911, to Octo- 
ber 1st of last year, 473 formal cases and 774 formal 
applications were filed with the commission, or a total 
of 1247 of these formal matters requiring investiga- 
tion and public hearings. In addition, 2377 written 
informal complaints came to the commission's office, 
making a total of 3624 matters submitted in the two 
years and nine months demanding adjudication. To 
investigate, hear and pass properly upon the issues 
presented has taxed to the utmost the time of the 
commission and its assistants. For the purpose of 
expediting its work the commissioners hear cases in- 
dividually and sit en banc only where the situation 
requires it. 


Through its informal department the commission 
enables any citizen of the state, by the use of merely 
a two-cent stamp or a postal card, to lay any matter 
before it. The humblest citizen without expense has, 
therefore, the full privilege of calling the commission 
to his aid where his grievance is justifiable. Every 
informal complaint thus received is given the same 
careful attention that attaches to a regular case. In 
this manner the commission is able to attain a high 
degree of usefulness to the people. The power of 
the state is always at hand ready to be invoked for 


Public Utilities. 

the aid of the most humble of its citizens, whose 
cause, be it ever so small, is just. 

It was through an informal complaint made by 
letter that the telephone rates between San Francisco 
and Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley were reduced 
from the normal charge of 15 cents to 10 cents, 
effecting the saving of nearly $250,000 for the people 
and benefiting more or less directly the combined 
populations of 800,000 people. In its proceedings, 
the commission follows no set rules. It seeks to go 
directly to the facts and, wiping aside all technicali- 
ties, passes at once to the real issue in controversy. 
Trained legal knowledge is not a prerequisite to an 
appearance before the commission. A litigant is given 
the full benefit of the commission's simplified proc- 
esses, and legal intricacies of method and procedure 
are prohibited. For this reason the commission has 
been alluded to as the people's court. 


The work of the commission is organized into six 
departments, as follows: 

1 . Administrative. 

2. Legal. 

3. Statistics and accounts. 

4. Rate. 

5. Engineering. 

6. Stocks and bonds. 

Each department is subdivided into such bureaus 
as are necessary. In the rate department, for in- 
stance, are bureaus devoted to railroad, water, gas 


Public Utilities. 

and electric, telephone and telegraph, warehouse and 
wharf rates. In the engineering department are bu- 
reaus devoted to electrical engineering, hydraulic 
engineering and to general service and safety work. 
The force of the commission has been extended until 
it now comprises 107 employees. 

The nature of the matters submitted to the com- 
mission for adjustment are such as to render speedy 
determinations imperative. Stock and bond issues 
must be handled expeditiously. Rate inconsistencies 
must not be allowed to continue longer than can be 
avoided. The commission has, therefore, adopted the 
policy of proceeding with as much speed as accuracy 
and full justice will demand. On the matters coming 
before it since the adoption of the public utilities act, 
requiring formal hearings, the commission has ren- 
dered its decisions at the rate of ten per week. In 
these formal cases, the average time from the filing 
of the papers to the decision has been 34 days. The 
average time from the filing to the hearing has been 
12 days ; and the average time from the hearing to 
the decision has been 22 days. 

Despite the large number of matters before it, the 
commission has kept abreast with its calendar, and 
those cases now undecided represent merely the nor- 
mal calendar accumulation. The commissioners travel 
about the state, holding hearings where the greatest 
convenience of the people suggests. 

The press of work has required the opening of a 
second hearing room in the commission's quarters in 


Public Utilities. 

San Francisco and the creation of an office in the 
city of Los Angeles. 


In only one case has the commission been com- 
pelled to resort to the punitive features of the public 
utilities act. The Hermosa Beach Water Company 
failed to comply with the order of this commission 
directing it to increase the pressure and make cer- 
tain extensions. After due time, the utility was 
directed to comply with the order within 30 days or 
to pay a fine of $500. It elected to comply with the 

Although the legislature determined to submit to 
the voters at the election to be held in 1914, a con- 
stitutional amendment transferring to the jurisdiction 
of this commission public utilities now under the 
authority of the incorporated cities of the state, some 
cities have already by voluntary action placed this 
jurisdiction with the commission. The following 
municipalities have thus transferred the authority over 
their public utilities : Palo Alto, Willits, Orange, 
Monterey, Salinas, Covina, Eagle Rock, Antioch, 
Ontario, Belvedere, Daly City, Huntington Beach, 
San Jose, Petaluma, San Rafael and Oroville. 

Many of the cities of the State have asked the 
commission to co-operate in regulating their public 
utilities. The commission assisted in the adjustment 
of telephone rates within the city of San Francisco. 


The work of the commission may be divided into 
(1) regulation of rates; (2) regulation of finances; 


Public Utilities. 

and (3) regulation of service of all public utilities. 
In adjudicating these and related matters, the com- 
mission has been called upon to meet and solve 
problems of fundamental importance. One of the 
foremost of these was the situation created by the 
existence generally throughout the state of contract 
rates. Public utilities had entered extensively into 
long period contracts for the sale of their product. 
Water companies in particular had entered into 
agreements to deliver for advance or continuing pay- 
ments, a fixed measure of their supply for several 
years into the future. The commission has deter- 
mined that such contracts could not nullify the supe- 
rior power of the state to regulate rates. It has held, 
therefore, that the rates fixed by the commission 
supersede such contract rates. The effect of this 
decision has been to put a stop to all efforts to evade 
the commission's authority over rates. An effort 
was made by several utilities to enter into contracts 
with certain patrons and thus to circumvent the 
authority of the commission. To allow contract rates 
to stand would be to sanction rebating to the favored 
few, and therefore, to discriminate against the great 
mass of the public. The commission has held that 
the state's power to fix fair and reasonable rates 
cannot be impaired by any action on the part of any 
public service corporation. 

At the same time, the commission has stated that 
in such cases where such contracts were entered into 
in good faith for adequate value, it will not be dis- 
posed to disturb them unless good cause appear. It 


Public Utilities. 

has happened also that in some instances an endeavor 
has been made to use the commission's ruling for the 
oppression of the public. Land promoters have in- 
duced people to buy by promising to contract for 
water service at a low figure. The low water rate 
was a bait to sell the land. Now these promoters 
have sought to persuade the commission to raise the 
water rates. The commission has held, however, that 
it will enforce contract rates thus made unless it can 
be affirmatively shown that they constitute an unrea- 
sonable burden calculated to impair the service of the 


The commission has carried forward under instruc- 
tions from the legislature, the valuation of all of the 
railroads of the state. Valuations have been com- 
pleted for 27 railroads with a total of 1099 miles. 
Valuations are nearly completed for four other rail- 
roads with a total of 1299 miles, and are well under 
way for the remaining lines. 


No case attracted more general attention than the 
proposed unmerging plan of the Southern Pacific and 
Union Pacific companies. The roads had been di- 
rected by the United States supreme court to dissolve. 
They presented to the commission for its approval 
contracts, leases and agreements under which these 
carriers proposed to carry out the dissolution decree 
of the United States supreme court. The commission 
regarded some of these contracts as constituting 


Public Utilities. 

merely a re-merging in somewhat different form. It 
took the position that the railroads should not be 
permitted to grant to each other exclusive privileges. 
The commission maintained that, in the face of the 
order of the United States supreme court directing 
that the two lines be divorced, it should refuse its 
authorization to any plan that in reality meant a new 
combination. The commission believed that this was 
merely a re-amalgamation in disguise. The approval 
of the California commission was essential to the plan 
and therefore, when this approval was denied the 
plan fell. 


No work that the railroad commission has under- 
taken affects more vitally the welfare of the people 
of California than its endeavor to straighten out and 
adjust equitably the involved irrigation situation in 
the state. In several of the large irrigation sections 
conflict and misunderstanding between the utility and 
the water users have led to serious conditions. The 
land owners do not get a sufficient supply of water 
nor is it properly distributed in many instances. On 
the other hand, the utilities refuse to make extensions 
and to further develop their supplies for lack of as- 
surance of adequate remuneration. The commission, 
however, has stepped in and has endeavored, and in 
many instances has succeeded, in causing the irriga- 
tion company to increase its supply, to repair its 
system and to make proper and complete distribution 
of water, and in return for this has caused the patron 
to pay an equitable rate. It has been found that 


Public Utilities. 

when the two parties can be thus brought together 
the difficulties of both are solved. In this way the 
commission has been able to secure the proper irri- 
gation of hundreds of thousands of acres over which 
there had been previously strife and bitterness, but 
insufficient water. 


Much of the commission's earlier work was con- 
cerned with rate matters. The utility rates through- 
out the state have been generally adjusted upon a 
lower and more reasonable basis. While computations 
of actual results from rate reductions may not be 
absolutely accurate, they nevertheless afford a good 
measure by which to judge the effect. Based upon 
actual sums paid by utility patrons during the pre- 
vious years, reductions made by the commission 
amount to approximately $2,500,000 in freight and 
passenger rates; $1,000,000 in gas and electric rates; 
$1,250,000 in telephone rates; $750,000 in express 
rates, and $500,000 in miscellaneous reductions. 
These savings can be readily traced and identified. 
These figures mean, and will continue to mean, as 
long as the decisions remain in effect, that the rulings 
of the commission are saving to the people of Cali- 
fornia $6,000,000 per year in the sums they have 
paid for utility service. It is a 6 per cent, saving on 

During the time that it has had jurisdiction over 
stock and bond issues, applications have been made to 
the commission to issue securities in the sum of 
$262,000,000. Of these applications, the commission 


Public Utilities. 

has approved an amount aggregating $177,000,000 
and has disapproved $18,000,000. The balance are 


In its supervision over public utility service, the 
commission has held safety foremost. It has, in 
fact, placed safety above all else. Its orders have 
gone forth time and again with the statement that 
the utilities should safeguard their service in every 
possible particular for the protection of the public 
and the utilities' employees, and with this statement 
has gone forth an expression of the commission's 
willingness to subordinate all else to safety. Par- 
ticularly has the commission stated that if necessary 
rates may be raised to enable utilities to provide all 
of the safety devices of proven efficacy. 

Not only does the commission's service department 
investigate all wrecks, but it has instituted inquiries 
into the methods of operation and the rules employed 
by all railroads. The railway service is inspected and 
any laxity or dereliction is promptly called to the 
attention of the operating officials and correction de- 
manded. The investigation of one wreck revealed 
that the operating officials did not enforce their own 
rules, and the investigation of another wreck showed 
that employees had not been given proper drilling in 
the rules. 


In one of its rulings, the commission called upon 
the Pacific Electric Railway Company to prepare esti- 
mates for block signaling its system. The commission 


Public Utilities. 

has also required that safety interlocking devices be 
placed at dangerous crossings. It has furthermore 
announced its intention of compelling the elimination, 
where possible, of all grade crossings where great 
risk is involved. In addition, the commission's service 
department has been supervising dispatching methods 
of the different roads. All of these measures are 
pursued for the purpose of obtaining the maximum 
degree of safety upon all the railroads of the state. 


In the matter of rates the commission has read- 
justed particularly the railroad freight charges, gas 
and electric rates and telephone rates. Freight rates 
have been reduced over a very large part of the state 
of California. The reductions in all have amounted 
to approximately $2,500,000 per year. The work of 
the commission affecting rates was directed particu- 
larly toward removing discriminations and abolishing 
extortionate charges. To this end the commission 
began by wiping out extensive discriminatory tariffs 
and examining schedules to require that they conform 
with the long and short haul provisions of the state 

A brief summary of some of the most important 
rate readjustments effected by the commission fol- 
lows : 


The commission found that the rates on the South- 
ern Pacific between Los Angeles and San Pedro were 
highly extortionate. The purpose of such high rates 
in this territory was obviously to prevent shipments 


Public Utilities. 

by water and to deprive Los Angeles of the natural 
advantages of its harbor. After an investigation the 
commission cut the rates, with a resulting saving to 
the shippers which will average between $100,000 and 
$200,000 per year. 

This was the first order of the commission direct- 
ing that sweeping reductions be made in rates. It 
was resisted by the Southern Pacific, and President 
Sproule of that company suggested that a test case 
be made by arresting an agent at San Pedro. To 
this the commission replied that the days of arresting 
agents had passed in California. The commission in- 
formed Mr. Sproule that if the order were violated 
and the rates not reduced as directed, the commission 
would proceed to fix the responsibility for the dis- 
obedience just as high as possible, and would then 
arrest the highest men thus found responsible. The 
rates went into effect. Since that day there has 
been no disposition to run counter to the commis- 
sion's orders. 


Complaints from San Francisco, Los Angeles and 
points within the San Joaquin valley led to a pro- 
longed hearing on the freight rates throughout the 
San Joaquin valley. As a result of the commission's 
investigations, reductions were made amounting to 
$750,000 per year. This required the compilation by 
the commission of more than 600,000 new rates. 


Rates between Los Angeles and Imperial valley on 
the Southern Pacific had been placed at a point which 

Public Utilities. 

restricted the free interchange of produce. The com- 
mission found the rates unreasonable and reduced 
them by approximately $150,000 per year. The result 
was to enable Imperial valley farmers to ship their 
produce advantageously to the Los Angeles market. 


Upon investigation the commission found that the 
Sunset Western railroad, owned jointly by the South- 
ern Pacific and Santa Fe, and connecting Bakersfield 
with the West Side oil fields of Kern county, was 
maintaining highly extortionate rates. It found that 
the company, with greatly inflated capitalization, had 
earned 60 per cent, the first year and 100 per cent, 
the second year. The commission cut the rates by 40 
per cent., effecting a saving of approximately $50,000 
per year. 

This reduction opened up the oil fields to a traffic 
heretofore denied them and enabled the oil operators 
to get their materials into the fields more cheaply and 
to ship their oil out at better advantage. 

The commission has completed an exhaustive inves- 
tigation into all the oil pipe line companies in the 
state. The purpose was to determine a fair and 
proper charge for the transportation of oil from the 
fields to the market centers. The aim is to protect 
the small producer and to secure for him a proper 
outlet for his petroleum. 


The commission's investigation into the rates on 
the Southern Pacific between Los Angeles and Owens 


Public Utilities. 

river valley revealed that the schedule was on so 
high a basis that improvements and development were 
greatly restricted along the line. Farmers complained 
that it cost as much to ship their crops out as they 
were worth. The commission directed that great re- 
ductions be made, with a resulting saving to the peo- 
ple in that section of approximately $110,000 per year. 


As a result of its investigation into Wells Fargo 
& Company, the commission wiped out every rate, 
substituted an entirely new system of rate making, 
and effected thereby a saving to the people of the 
state of California of $750,000 per year. The com- 
mission found that the company had maintained high- 
ly disproportionate schedules. The commission re- 
ported also that the relationship between the express 
company and the railroads was such as to deflect to 
the express company profits properly belonging to 
the railroads. 


The commission reduced the rate on car demurrage 
from $6 to $3 per day. 


The commission readjusted the schedule of rates 
for dried fruits in the San Joaquin valley, resulting 
in a saving of $200,000 per year. 


By informal adjustments after the close of the 
formal San Joaquin valley rate case, the commission 

Public Utilities. 

made further reductions in special commodity rates 
such as sugar, canned goods, soap, syrup and vinegar. 


Readjustments made by the commission on live 
stock rates from various points throughout the state 
have resulted in a saving to the shippers of approxi- 
mately $35,000 per year. 


Through formal complaints and its own investiga- 
tion, the commission reduced the rate on cement 
throughout the state, not only lowering the cement 
schedule but the price of cement to the consumer. 
This reduction effected a saving of approximately 
$50,000 per year. 


The whole rate schedule on the Northwestern Pa- 
cific Railroad was investigated by the commission, 
inequalities removed, and some of the commutation 
rates reduced. 


The commission reduced all class rates on the 
Placerville branch of the Southern Pacific by 20 per 


Lumber rates were reduced largely throughout the 
state by the commission, particularly on the San 
Joaquin & Eastern Railroad. 


The effort of the Southern Pacific to raise the 
rates on the Creek Route ferry between San Francisco 


Public Utilities. 

and Oakland, patronized particularly by the working 
men, was thwarted by the commission's refusal to 


The commission found that passenger rates from 
Sacramento valley points into Oakland were upon the 
same basis as into San Francisco, despite the fact that 
the bay trip was not part of the Oakland trip. The 
commission thereupon reduced the rates from Sacra- 
mento valley and northern California points into 
Oakland by five, ten and fifteen cents. This effected 
a saving which will amount to approximately $15,000 
per year. 


The Southern Pacific and other railroads have 
maintained special week-end and excursion rates from 
the bay cities to nearby points for one and one-third 
the single trips. These rates applied to all points 
excepting Sacramento. The commission thereupon 
directed that Sacramento be included. The week-end 
rate was cut from $5 to $3.35, effecting a saving 
approximating $10,000 per year. 


The commission directed the Pullman company to 
reduce its seat fares for day trips between San Fran- 
cisco and Los Angeles from $1.50 to $1.25. The 
commission also directed the company to reduce its 
berth rates between Los Angeles and San Diego from 
$2 to $1.50 for a lower berth, and from $1.60 to 


Public Utilities. 

$1.20 for an upper berth. The savings effected by 
these reductions approximates $10,000 per year. 


The commission found that the Southern Pacific 
Company, after withdrawing one of its first class 
trains, was charging 50 cents extra for seats in a 
regular day train. The commission thereupon di- 
rected that the company should cease charging the 
extra 50 cents. This effected a saving of approxi- 
mately $15,000 per year. 


The commission made a complete readjustment of 
the passenger rates on the Coast branch of the South- 
ern Pacific, affecting points between San Jose and 
Santa Cruz. The saving in this case is approximately 
$25,000 per year. 


The commission instituted an investigation into the 
commutation rates on the San Francisco peninsula, 
between San Francisco and points as far south as 
San Jose. Before the completion of this inquiry, how- 
ever, the Southern Pacific and the peninsula communi- 
ties agreed upon an adjustment and the case was 


The commutation rates between Oakland and Hay- 
ward were reduced by the order of the commission 
from $5 to $4.50, and to $4 for a special week day 


Public Utilities. 


The commission arranged with the railroads that 
the former charge of 50 cents for transferring bag- 
gage from one portion of the Ferry building to an- 
other, in San Francisco, should be reduced from 50 
cents to 25 cents, and in some instances made free 
of charge. 


The commission provided for a lower commutation 
rate on the Los Angeles & San Diego Beach Railway. 


This is but a brief summary of some of the more 
important reductions. Rates generally have been 
lowered and standardized throughout the whole state. 
The commission has, in some cases where it believed 
the equities required, authorized advances in rates. 
It has in many instances also denied applications for 
advances where it did not believe they were justified. 


In the domain of gas and electric power utilities, 
the commission has been able to bring about a com- 
plete new schedule of rates in the greater part of 
California. It has made material reductions in the 
northern part of the state and has placed electric 
power for lighting purposes at the disposal of house- 
holders throughout the northern counties at 8 cents 
per kilowatt hour in lieu of the 10 cents per kilowatt 
hour which had been formerly paid. 


Public Utilities. 

The commission has lowered the wholesale rates 
for natural gas in Los Angeles county from 18 to 
14 cents per thousand cubic feet. Every consumer in 
the city of Los Angeles will feel the effect of this 

In the southern part of the state, in small cities, 
and in unincorporated territory, it has reduced the 
10-cent lighting rate to the 7-cent basis. In Palo 
Alto it has readjusted the gas rate from $1.50 per 
thousand to $1.20 per thousand. It has, in fact, ex- 
tended its reductions in electric rates over a large part 
of Contra Costa, Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Alameda, 
Butte, Colusa, Marin, Nevada, Placer, San Mateo, 
Santa Clara, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba, Los 
Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Glenn, Shasta 
and Tehama counties. 


A considerable part of the readjustment of electric 
power rates came about through the commission's 
policy as enunciated in its decision in the case of the 
Pacific Gas & Electric Company vs. Great Western 
Power Company. The Great Western Power Com- 
pany sought to enter the north bay counties, including 
Marin, Sonoma and Napa, and applied to the com- 
mission under the public utilities act for a certificate 
of public convenience and necessity. The commission, 
in that case, held that where a utility was completely 
serving a territory and serving adequately at fair 
rates, it would not be disposed to allow a second util- 
ity of the same kind to enter the field. 

The immediate effect of this ruling was to spur 


Public Utilities. 

every utility to augmented and better service and to | 
lower rates. With no further action on the part of 
this commission than the decision referred to, electric 
rates fell all over the state of California and there 
came at the same time a marked improvement in the 

Specific adjustments have been made by the com- 
mission in the gas rate in the city of Orange and in 
the electric rates of the Tuolumne County Power 

More important than all of the commission's single 
adjustments, however, has been its standardization 
of electric light and power rates over the state. 

The commission has more recently completed an 
investigation into the price of natural gas for whole- 
sale distribution in Los Angeles county. 


The commission has been enabled to adjust on a 
more equitable basis, telephone rates throughout all 
parts of California. It has within recent months 
completed a thorough investigation into all of the 
toll or long distance rates within the state. One of 
the commission's first actions through its telephone 
bureau was to obtain reductions in 102 cities in Cali- 
fornia. Soon after it directed that the rate between 
San Francisco and the cities of Oakland, Berkeley 
and Alameda be reduced from 15 cents to 10 cents 
for the average switch. This alone afifects 800,000 
people and has resulted in a saving which averages 
approximately $200,000 per year. 

The city of San Francisco, through its board of 


Public Utilities. 

supervisors, called upon the railroad commission to 
assist in establishing a proper schedule of rates for 
the municipality. A lower schedule was submitted 
and approved and accepted without contest by the 
telephone company. The effect was a saving to the 
people of San Francisco of approximately $300,000 
per year. A referendum vote placed the rates on a 
still lower basis and the matter has been carried to 
the courts. 

It has devolved upon the commission to adjust not 
only telephone rates between the utility and its pa- 
trons, but to adjust the divisions between the tele- 
phone companies. It was found that the small tele- 
phone companies were paying a highly disproportion- 
ate share to the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Com- 
pany, and to recoup themselves these smaller com- 
panies were compelled naturally to assess heavier 
charges to their patrons in the rural districts. The 
commission has now compelled a more equitable basis 
of division which increases the revenue of the smaller 
companies and enables them to give the benefit of a 
low rate to their patrons. 

Several small telephone companies applied to the 
commission for authority to raise their rates, but 
after the division of revenues was rearranged with 
the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company, these 
applications were withdrawn. 

The commission recently completed its review of all 
the long distance telephone rates within the state, and 
has in consequence reduced those rates by $526,000 
per year. 
6 161 

Public Utilities. 

The period of conversation was extended to two 
minutes and the rates were reduced in nearly every 
city in the state. 


After the city of Willits transferred the jurisdic- 
tion over its utilities to the railroad commission, an 
investigation showed that the water rates should be 
lowered. They were accordingly placed upon a 
lower basis. 

The commission has raised the water rates in sev- 
eral sections of Los Angeles county. It has, in fact, 
worked out a basis upon which the water companies 
can give service and the patrons can be assured of 
proper supplies. 


The commission has readjusted the warehouse rates 
within the city of San Francisco. The basis of rates 
as finally evolved through the co-operation of the 
warehousemen and their patrons has gone into effect 
upon the assurances that they were satisfactory to all 
parties concerned. 


In its control over finances of public utility cor- 
porations as represented by its jurisdiction over stocks 
and bonds, the commission has been enabled in a 
large measure to assist the utility, the investor and 
the utility patron. The rule of the stock and bond 
feature of the public utilities act is that over-capital- 
ization shall be prevented, for the reason that over- 
capitalization overburdens the utility in that it im- 


Public Utilities. 

poses unnecessary and improper obligations upon it; 
is unfair to the investor in that it gives him securities 
certain to depreciate ; and is unfair to the utility 
patron in that the utility thus over-burdened cannot 
make the necessary extensions and improvements to 
render adequate service at reasonable rates. 


It is the purpose of the stock and bond section of 
the law that every dollar realized from stock and 
that every dollar realized from bonds shall go legiti- 
mately to the upbuilding and the improvement of the 
utility and shall not be diverted into improper chan- 
nels for individual profit. Stock and bond regulation 
springs from the changed relationship between the 
public service corporation and the public. The public 
has asserted, and will continue to assert, even more 
vigorously than in the past, its right to the dominant 
partnership in the public utility enterprises. In this 
new partnership the public does not mean to stand 
idly by as the possessor of a minority interest. It 
may not have the majority stock, but it has the 
majority interest. In this new relationship of part- 
ner, the public desires to know that the money in- 
vested by a public utility corporation is invested for 
the public good. We have only recently read of the 
financial transactions by which a large eastern rail- 
road deflected millions upon millions of dollars into 
highly improper channels. Money thus wasted is 
assessed against the public. 

The railroad commission of California does not stop 
with the authorization of securities, but requires re- 


Public Utilities. 

ports from the utilities showing definitely the use to 
which the money was put. These reports are checked 
over by the commission and any improper use of 
funds is thus prevented. 


It was urged against the stock and bond feature 
of the public utilities act that it would prevent in- 
vestment in California. The experience after a year 
and nine months leads to the conclusion that only 
those investments have been prevented which, for the 
good of the state, should have been prevented. That 
legitimate enterprise has in no way been hampered 
but, on the contrary, that the law has encouraged 
investment and has served to inspire greater confi- 
dence in securities in California and hence to quicken 
development, is amply demonstrated from the records 
of the commission. 

During the period from March 23, 1912, to Janu- 
ary 1, 1914, applications were made to the commission 
for stock and bond authorizations to the amount of 
$262,000,000. Of these applications the commission 
has passed favorably upon $177,000,000 and has de- 
nied $18,000,000. The balance are pending. Thus it 
has prevented the sale to the public of nearly $1,000,- 
000 a month in questionable securities. The stocks 
and bonds authorized have been distributed among the 
utilities as follows: 


Public Utilities. 

Stocks, Bonds 
Utility. and Notes. 

Steam railroads $ 50,802,925.05 

Electric railroads 35,266,451.00 

Gas & Electric companies 65,948,451.02 

Water companies 20,707,031.00 

Telephone & Telegraph companies... 4,129,817.00 

Warehouse companies 751,515.00 

Steamship companies 12,000.00 

Total authorized $177,618,190.07 

The commission has been called upon to pass upon 
new financing at the rate of approximately $500,000 
per working day. Clearly, the public utilities act 
has been a stimulus to investment and development. 


In connection with the proper financing of public 
utilities, the railroad commission has introduced sound 
and uniform accounting; it has prevented the capi- 
talization of consolidations, franchises and other in- 
tangibles, a very general practice before the public 
utilities act went into effect; and it has eliminated 
wasteful expenditure. 

As a part of its supervision over stocks and bonds, 
the commission has required that public utility pro- 
moters return money improperly taken from the util- 
ity. The commission refused to sanction further 
financing by the United Railroads after it discovered 
evidences of the most reckless forms of frenzied 
finance on the part of high officials of that company. 
Its investigation revealed that money had been ex- 


Public Utilities. 

pended in great lump sums for indefinite purposes, 
that fictitious exchanges had been made, and that in 
several ways jugglery and chicanery had been prac- 
ticed with the finances. 

In the case of the Economic Gas Company of Los 
Angeles the commission declared illegal $365,000 of 
bonds which had been issued improperly and had 
been put out without the commission's sanction. The 
commission found that in this case there had been an 
effort to evade the law and brought about a reorgan- 

The commission required the promoter of an electric 
railway to return over one million dollars of stock 
to the treasury of the company. 

Before authorizing securities, the commission has 
required utilities to place themselves upon a proper 
financial basis. 


Not only has the commission prevented frenzied 
finance and prevented corporations from collecting 
money by misrepresentation or improperly using 
money after it had been collected, but it has, in 
addition, adopted standard forms for the purpose of 
strengthening every public utility that comes before it. 

Two portions of the public are vitally affected by 
stock and bond regulations; first, that portion of the 
public comprising the patrons of the utility, and sec- 
ond, that portion of the public comprising the invest- 
ors in the utility enterprise. 

The interest of the public goes directly to rates 
and service. Bond issues for purposes of private 


Public Utilities. 

profit mean high rates and inadequate service. The 
public's protection lies only in a proper safeguarding 
of the purposes for which bonds and stock may be 
issued. The interest of the investing portion of the 
public requires a proper safeguard of public utility 
expenditures. There must be not only the safety of 
principal, but assurance of proper return. The stock 
and bond regulation of the commission is directed 
and has been used to put an end, wherever existent, 
to deflection of money from the utility to individual 
profit, high finance and improper usage. This check, 
as exercised by the commission, is now so complete 
that every dollar received by the utility may be traced. 


A particularly far-reaching undertaking, having for 
its end the betterment of service, has been carried 
forward in the form of an investigation into induction 
as between the high tension power lines and the 
telephone lines. Numerous complaints have been 
received by the commission of inductive interference 
by power lines with telephone wires to an extent 
which seriously interfered with the service. The 
preliminary attempts to solve the matter were un- 
availing. The commission thereupon undertook a 
complete investigation of the whole subject. Accord- 
ingly a joint committee was formed comprising repre- 
sentatives from the staff of the commission, repre- 
sentatives of the power companies, and representa- 
tives of the telephone companies. At the head of 
this committee is the chief engineer of the commis- 
sion. The committee has been conducting a series 


P u b lie Utilities. 

of practical tests in the Salinas valley and has been 
studying in a highly scientific manner the causes 
and effect of this form of induction. 

This induction trouble is common to every locality 
where power lines and telephone lines come into 
proximity. The California experiments are the first 
that have been undertaken on such a comprehensive 
scale, and the commission is pleased to report that 
it has received the co-operation not only of the in- 
terested public utilities of California, but of the 
public service commissions and of the public service 
corporations and many scientists throughout the 
United States. These tests will be conducted over 
a series of months, and at their conclusion the com- 
mittee will report to the commission. It is the en- 
deavor to devise some plan by which this inductive 
interference may be prevented. 

The results so far achieved have been such as to 
encourage the commission in its effort to solve this 
problem. This is a matter of wide scientific interest. 


In its efforts to bring about an improvement in 
the service of all public utilities, the commission has 
kept in mind the benefit of the public rather than 
the convenience of the utilities. It was this funda- 
mental basis of the principle of service that led the 
commission to establish through routes and joint 
rates as between carriers. Before the commission 
began to operate under the public utilities act there 
was very little interchange as between steam railroads 
and electric railroads. The commission, however, 


Public Utilities. 

established the principle that the steam and electric 
railroads should provide through routes and joint 

In this way an orchardist or individual shipper 
located on an electric trolley line has been able to 
obtain the same benefits of transportation that are 
provided for the large shipper in the big city. The 
orchardist or grower may now load his freight at 
his very door, where it will be picked up by the 
electric line and transferred to the steam road at the 
point of intersection, to be carried to some other 
part of California or to the markets of the world. 
In this way through routes and joint rates have 
been arranged by the commission between the Santa 
Fe and the Empire Traction Company; between the 
Santa Fe and the California Traction Company; be- 
tween the Western Pacific and the Northern Elec- 
tric; between the cement railroads and the main line 


Following out very much the same principle, the 
commission has established physical connection be- 
tween the unrelated telephone companies so that the 
user of the independent line may have the benefit 
of long distance service over the lines of the larger 
companies. The commission's ruling in this regard 
was appealed to the supreme court. The commis- 
sion has also set a definite standard of service for 
telephone companies and by means of a state-wide 


Public Utilities. 

check has greatly increased the efficiency of the tele- 
phone for public use. 


For the greater convenience of travelers the com- 
mission has directed that new stations be built at a 
great many points in California. The most important 
of these was the commission's order directing the 
Southern Pacific to build a first-class passenger and 
freight depot at West Berkeley. The commission 
has directed also that new depots be constructed at 
Glen Frazer, Bowles, Lone Star, Talheim, and Hil- 
ton, and has provided for a station agency at Termo. 
The commission has further directed that shelter 
sheds be erected for the protection of passengers at 
a great many points throughout the state. 


The commission has been instrumental also in ob- 
taining additional train service where needed. 
Through inquiries and investigations which have 
been made, increased service in the form of an 
additional train was provided on the Coast line be- 
tween San Francisco and Los Angeles. Improved 
and increased motor car facilities have been estab- 
lished in the Sacramento valley. Additional service 
has been obtained for Imperial valley. Better condi- 
tions have been brought about on the Northwestern 

The commission has also introduced throughout 
the state a proper system of bulletining trains, so 
as to apprise the public as to the hour of arrival of 


Public Utilities. 

all delayed trains. The commission has insisted also 
that station rooms be kept in a sanitary condition. 

In cases where adequate showing has been made 
that earnings did not warrant the service given, the 
commission has allowed trains discontinued as, for 
instance, in the case of the Ocean Shore Railroad, 
which was given authority to cease the operation of 
one of its trains during the winter months. 


A state-wide investigation has been begun to im- 
prove generally the service of water utilities. The 
commission has directed that these utilities shall no 
longer assess against prospective patrons the cost of 
the extension with which to serve them. This, in 
effect, required the water users to pay interest upon 
their own money. The commission has indicated its 
disapproval of this practice. 

The commission has made it a practice in a large 
number of its decisions to require the installation 
by the water utility of the service connection and 
the meter at its own expense. This policy has been 
carried forward until it has been adopted as a prin- 
ciple to be departed from only under special circum- 

A resume of some of the more important findings 
on service matters follows : 

New depots erected by order of the commission 
in Berkeley, Suisun, Empire, Bowles and several 
other points in California. 

Carriers required to provide individual drinking 
cups for passengers at one cent apiece. 


Public Utilities. 

Train service from San Jose to San Francisco via 
Niles for fruit and vegetable shipments rearranged 
for convenience of shippers. 

Carriers required by commission's general order to 
post notice of any change in time of arrival or de- 
parture of any passenger trains. 

Railroads directed by general order to open station 
rooms thirty minutes before arrival of trains and to 
keep stations lighted and warm. 

Railroads directed not to remove tracks or stations 
or to abandon agencies without the commission's 

Special findings made upon wreck of the San 
Francisco, Napa Valley & Calistoga Railway, cen- 
suring company for failure to enforce proper oper- 
ating rules. 

Special investigation and report into wreck of 
Pacific Electric Company, censuring officials for fail- 
ure to instruct men properly and directing the com- 
pany to prepare preliminary plans for block signaling 
its system. 

Expert dispatcher employed to supervise dispatch- 
ing on steam and electric roads. 

Delayed installation of telephone service corrected 
over widespread section of the state. 

Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company required 
to render telephone service at Saratoga. 

Principle announced that a public utility could not 
abandon service but must continue the duty assumed. 

Order issued forbidding sale and distribution of 
impure water. 


Public Utilities. 

General order issued providing for proper clear- 
ance of overhead wires. 

General order issued providing for standard form 
of interlocking devices at dangerous crossings. 

Voluntary reductions in rates and improvements in 
service made by utilities following announcement of 
policy that, if rates were as reasonable as could be 
offered and service as adequate, utilities could be 
protected against competition in their fields. 


The commission has been able to accomplish very 
satisfactory results through conference and corre- 
spondence. It maintains an informal complaint de- 
partment where complaints from individuals, which 
come by letter, are given careful consideration. To 
date 2500 such complaints have been received. They 
reach the commission's office at an average of four 
or five a day. These complaints range from griev- 
ances over a transfer or a five-cent fare to protests 
against overcharges amounting to thousands of dol- 
lars. In a great majority of these cases the com- 
mission was able to make adjustments without formal 
hearings entirely satisfactory to the protesting in- 
dividual and to the utility. 

Obviously an individual's letter to a utility corpora- 
tion, containing a minor protest, might not receive 
the full attention to which the writer might believe 
it entitled. The commission, however, as the repre- 
sentative of all the people of the state, acts for any 
person who files a complaint with it. After examina- 
tion, if the commission believes a complaint unjus- 


Public Utilities. 

tified, it so notifies the author. If, on the other hand, 
it believes there is merit in the protest, it insists that 
the matter complained of be remedied by the utility. 

Through the medium of informal complaints, new 
trains have been added to the railway service, rates 
have been adjusted, discriminations have been re- 
moved, and other important actions taken. An in- 
formal complaint in a letter was the inspiration for 
the reduction of telephone rates between San Fran- 
cisco and the cities of Oakland, Alameda and Berke- 
ley, from 15 cents to 10 cents for an average switch. 

An informal complaint led to the Wells Fargo 
investigation, which has resulted in an order can- 
celing all the rates now in effect. Informal com- 
plaints are responsible for the investigation which 
the commission is conducting into the practices of 
the Pullman company. 

It is possible by the maintenance of this informal 
complaint department to expedite the work of the 
commission to a great degree. It obviates the neces- 
sity of formal hearings in all matters which can be 
otherwise adjusted. 

In all of its work, and particularly through its 
informal department, the commission has endeavored 
to make itself the implement through which the peo- 
ple of the state of California shall obtain full justice 
from the public utility corporations. 




In California nature has been pleased to express 
herself in superlatives. The character of the people 
in the Golden State lends itself naturally to projects 
beyond the imagination or the courage of many other 

The biggest constructive work which the state has 
ever undertaken, and the work which will one day be 
the pride of every Californian, is the state highway 

This undertaking was sanctioned and financed by 
a vote of the people in 1910. The act provided for 
eighteen million dollars of bonds, the latest maturing 
in 1961. The responsibility for construction under 
the act was vested in the state department of engi- 
neering. For the purposes of efficiency and definite 
responsibility, the department of engineering delegated 
this work to an appointive body composed of three 
of its own members, called the California highway 
commission, and to whom plenipotentiary powers were 

The original three commissioners appointed by Gov- 
ernor Johnson were Burton A. Towne, Charles D. 
Blaney and Newell D. Darlington, all well-known men 
in California, each bringing to the work a high de- 
gree of efficiency in some particular line. Mr. Towne 
was succeeded in January by Mr. Charles F. Stern. 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

The highway problem with this commission from 
the beginning has largely been a labor of love, in 
which pride of achievement and devotion to the in- 
terests of California are paramount. 

The head of the engineering department of the 
highway organization is Mr. Austin B. Fletcher, an 
engineer of international reputation, and a scientific 
road builder. Mr. Fletcher was for many years iden- 
tified with the work of the Massachusetts highway 
commission in an administrative and executive 
capacity — a work which is today serving as a model 
to the pioneers in this new science. Mr. Fletcher 
brought to this work not only an intensive scientific 
knowledge of construction and its problems, but a 
working knowledge of California's conditions and 
needs, attained as head of extensive highway work 
in San Diego county. 

The personnel of the highway organization, and 
the methods of its selection are unique in state work. 
No considerations other than efficiency and loyalty 
to the work have entered into the choice of a single 
man on the payroll. Here is no asylum for "lame 
ducks," or political proteges. Absolutely and em- 
phatically the highway work is a non-political work. 

Members of the engineering department from top 
to bottom have been chosen on their records covering 
their entire career. These records are a part of the 
permanent history of the highway commission's work. 
Continuance on the work and promotion have been 
contingent on "making good," and this rule has 
known and will know no exceptions. 

The problem facing the highway commission was 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

tremendous in size, and without precedent. Briefly 
speaking, under the mandates of this act, and the 
construction placed thereon by the attorney general 
of the state, it provided that 

"the route or routes of said state highways 
shall be selected by the department of engineer- 
ing and said route shall be so selected and 
said highways so laid out and constructed or 
acquired as to constitute a continuous and 
connected state highway system running north 
and south through the state traversing the 
Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys and along 
the Pacific coast by the most direct and prac- 
ticable routes, connecting the county seats of 
the several counties through which it passes and 
joining the centers of population, together 
with such branch roads as may be necessary 
to connect therewith the several county seats 
lying east and west of such state highway." 

The attorney general's construction of the lan- 
guage of the statute is enlightening. 

"I consider that the main purpose of the 
statute was to create a state highway system, 
running north and south through the state, as 
a means of communication for the entire state, 
in order that the people of the north might be 
in touch with the people of the south and the 
denizens of all the country between be brought 
in contact. And, for this reason, I consider 
that portion of the statute which provides for 
the construction of such highways in such 
manner as to 'constitute a continuous and con- 
nected state highway system running north and 
south through the state, traversing the Sacra- 
mento and San Joaquin valleys and along the 
Pacific coast by the most direct and practicable 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

routes/ as the portion of the statute which we 
are to treat as mandatory, and for the purpose 
of effecting the object displayed we must treat 
the balance of the statute as subordinate 
thereto. In other words, our main idea of the 
highway in considering the routes should be 
that it is to run north and south by the most 
direct and practicable routes. And, with this 
idea in view, the connecting of the county seats 
of the several roads through which the high- 
way passes and the joining of the centers of 
population are but the incidents to the main 
idea of north and south direction by the most 
direct and practicable route." 

In order to thoroughly understand the problem 
thus outlined, the commission in the earlier days of 
the work took the field personally with the highway 
engineer. By automobile they traversed the state 
in every direction, studying its details, with the most 
expert local advice and assistance obtainable, looking 
into every nook and cranny of the great state of Cali- 
fornia in order that the intent as well as the letter 
of the law should be observed. In this way, the 
commissioners covered nearly seven thousand miles 
and gained a first-hand personal knowledge that has 
made an effective routing policy possible. Contrac- 
tors and local committees are every day amazed by 
the commissioners' personal knowledge of conditions 
and problems in various widely separated localities. 

It was very early seen that a consistent policy in 
accordance with the law would be at times at vari- 
ance with local interests. Necessarily, a state-wide 
policy must be maintained. In fact, there was more 
at stake than even a state policy. Oregon is coming 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

down in 1915 over the Siskiyou mountains to the 
California line with a paved state highway. Governor 
Lister of Washington was elected on his record as a 
scientific advocate of state highways, and joins in the 
movement. The California trunk lines, therefore, 
north and south through the interior valley and 
along the coast route become integral links in a 
tri-state chain by which the entire land traffic of the 
Pacific coast will be routed over the California state 
highway, to the inestimable and permanent benefit 
of every portion of the state. 

With this in view, the routing policy of the com- 
mission has been rigidly adhered to with the idea 
that it would furnish the back-bone for county sys- 
tems of good roads yet to be built and that it would 
stand as a model, and an incentive for such roads. 
In the end this will develop into a state-wide net- 
work of roads that will carry the commercial life- 
blood of the state in every direction through great 
arteries of commerce, to nourish and develop commer- 
cial centers where nature intended they should be 

Local conditions and needs have been observed 
insofar as such observance was possible, under the 
three great rules : first, the mandates of the act ; 
second, the money available, and third, the broad 
policy of the work. 

By systematically avoiding railroad crossings wher- 
ever possible, the commission has tried to make the 
roads safe. For instance, in three counties in the 
northern part of the state, thirty-four hazardous 
crossings were eliminated. In the southern part of 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

the state, in one short stretch of road, eleven cross- 
ings were eliminated, where heavy fogs at times 
make it almost impossible to see an approaching 
train. The dangerous Casitas Pass road in southern 
California; the heavy 25% grades of the Santa Cruz 
mountains ; the Sacramento canyon in northern Cali- 
fornia, will all be replaced by safe roads, with broader 
curves and low grades not in excess of 7%. 

It is a significant fact that when the routings 
have been definitely determined in accordance with 
the far-seeing policy and mandates of the act and 
the best engineering skill available, the several 
counties involved have acquiesced in the decision of 
the commission and have almost without exception 
come to see its justice and wisdom. It is no small 
thing to be able to say that the great trunk lines 
of the California highway system have been routed 
without fear or favor where the law of natural con- 
ditions has demanded that they should be routed, 
and that this policy has not known a single deviation. 

In the measuring of this problem some very signifi- 
cant facts were immediately apparent. In brief, 
the highway commission had at its disposal $18,000,- 
"000 to build a state highway system, specifically 
directioning the construction of approximately 2700 
miles of roadway. Expert engineers and road build- 
ers who looked over these requirements placed the 
cost of such a system at from thirty-five to fifty mil- 
lion dollars. How well the highway commission is 
succeeding with eighteen million dollars makes an in- 
teresting story. 

The last dollar of the bill for this system will not 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

be paid until 1961. The state has mortgaged a gen- 
eration and a half for this work. There is more 
at stake than the expenditure of this eighteen million 
dollars. The entire policy of road development in a 
state which can profitably spend five times this money 
in developing its resources and displaying its ad- 
vantages hangs in the balance. If this fund is 
efficiently invested, the future of this movement is 
assured. If it is not so invested — if it does not 
deserve and does not receive the sanction and com- 
mendation of the state whose work it is, then Cali- 
fornia will enter the "dark ages" of road construc- 
tion and forfeit the opportunity that is now hers. 

The commission appreciates to the full the weight 
of this responsibility. It appreciates that as these 
roads will not be entirely paid for until 1961, then 
they must be in existence as practical roads in 1961. 
The investment therefore must be permanent and the 
roads practically everlasting. 

A consideration of the problem of adopting a type 
of construction to meet this need is interesting. Road 
building is not an exact science. Indeed, as gen- 
erally practiced by the counties of California, nothing 
could be further from an exact science. A perma- 
nent road construction can reach practically any cost. 
For example, the highest type of road construction 
suggested, consisting of well-made grade and sub- 
grade, covered with a concrete pavement, on top of 
that a cushion of sand and asphalt, on top of that 
a layer of vitrified brick, to be in turn covered with 
another cushion to absorb the wear and tear of 
traffic, is probably the ideal construction. Inciden- 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

tally, this costs in the neighborhood of $35,000 per 
mile. With such a type of construction adopted by 
the highway commission, only a single trunk line be- 
tween San Francisco and San Diego would be possi- 
ble. The balance of the state would have failed to 
participate in the benefits of the act through such 
participation is mandatory. The comments of the 
uninformed, and those who deliberately misrepresent 
along this line, are ludicrous in the extreme. 

It was decided to give primary attention to the 
engineering problems and to the drainage, sub- 
grade and base, thus building a highway, the cost 
of which would not be lost when in future the state 
should desire to expend additional money in road 
improvement. In other words, the commission pro- 
posed to build a road which would not need to be 
torn up to be replaced by a better type of construc- 
tion, but w T hich might be supplemented later in the 
course of maintenance without loss of present ex- 

The commission and the state highway engineer 
were united on a type of road having a firm, solid, 
well-drained sub-grade, with a solid base, perfectly 
concrete, and a good, heavy asphalt or concrete 
asphaltic surface as the most permanent and satis- 
factory road to build, but this would have cost for 
the work contemplated about $16,000 per mile — a 
figure absolutely prohibitive with the $18,000,000 

It was determined that a well laid out roadway, 
with a grade not in excess of 6% anywhere from 
Oregon to Mexico, except for a few thousand feet 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

where a 7% grade is necessary, well drained and 
with durable concrete culverts, with a hard cement 
base, laid upon a well compacted sub-grade, and cov- 
ered with a bituminous surface which will be sup- 
plemented in maintenance, was possible under the 
provisions of the act. 

By an expenditure of approximately $8600 per 
mile, allowed for the main roads, more than 90% of 
the total expenditure will have been spent towards 
the ultimate construction of the $16,000 a mile type, 
thereby through the present policy saving a heavy 
future capital expenditure. 

The commission and its engineer realized the 
bearing of climatic conditions so widely differing in 
the empire state of California, and that a type of 
construction that would be successful in the extreme 
heat and dry climate of the San Joaquin valley might 
be less practical in the temperate climate and extreme 
rainfall of Humboldt county. 

The commission has been "from Missouri'' on these 
matters, and that its adopted type of construction 
is right, in every sense of the word, will be tri- 
umphantly demonstrated as the years go by. 

Several types of construction are used in the sys- 
tem, varying according to the traffic needs and con- 
ditions of the country traversed. In the mountain 
roads, most careful attention is given to drainage 
and the safeguarding of the roadbed by providing 
ample culverts to divert and control storm waters. 
Water-bound macadam and oil macadam construc- 
tion are utilized, but the trunk roads generally will 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

be of concrete base construction with a bituminous 
protective surface. 

As a matter of fact, the soundness of this engi- 
neering policy has already been demonstrated by the 
tremendous storms that have recently swept over Cal- 
ifornia when great damage was wrought to thorough- 
fares of every description. Railroad trunk lines that 
have stood for a generation, expensive bridges, ma- 
sonry that seemed as eternal as the hills, traction 
lines upon which millions have been spent, were all 
involved in the general wreck. 

The California state highway construction, al- 
though in its infancy, has suffered a smaller per- 
centage of damage than any of these and came tri- 
umphantly through this supreme test. In many in- 
stances the new state highway has been the only 
avenue for travel during this period; a fact that has 
proven conclusively the wisdom of the engineers in 
choosing the route, and the wisdom of the commis- 
sion in determining upon the type of construction. 

With this type of construction adopted as the 
cheapest and most practical form of permanent con- 
struction, it was easy to see that the mileage de- 
manded by the act could not be constructed within 
the limits of the $18,000,000 bond issue alone. The 
business efficiency and adroitness of the commission 
in augmenting this fund stands without a peer in 
the history of public enterprise. The policy the com- 
mission adopted for this end may be briefly ex- 
pressed as follows : 

1. To prevail upon all counties to pledge them- 
selves to procure all rights of way and construct all 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

necessary bridges for the state highway in their vari- 
ous jurisdictions. 

2. To lay out the entire system of trunk roads and 
laterals in accordance with the mandates of common 
sense, the state highways act and the opinion of the 
attorney general by "the most direct and practicable 
routes. " 

3. To organize every department under the com- 
mission on a merit and efficiency basis, in line with 
the promise and the efforts of the administration 
to apply clean, practical, business methods to the man- 
agement of public affairs. 

4. To declare that the state will step into the breach 
and defend any contractor in the courts, without cost 
to him, against any suits for damages or royalties 
for the invasion of real or alleged rights under pav- 
ing patents. 

5. To make definite arrangements with the various 
railroad companies for a special reduced freight 
schedule for all road building materials, equipment, 
etc., transported for the construction of the state 

6. To enter into contract with the lowest bidders 
for a vast wholesale supply of crushed rock, gravel, 
etc., by the definite terms of which these materials 
should be supplied to the state far below the price 
usually paid by contractors on other public or private 

7. To propose to the cement companies to place 
large orders for cement to be delivered and paid for 
within a stated period, and demanding their closest 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

estimates in consideration of such guaranties of large 
orders, positively placed and promptly paid for. 

8. To let contracts for construction of the state 
highway in ten mile units, and give all contractors 
the benefit of the reductions in freight rates, and first 
cost of rock, gravel and cement under the aforesaid 
arrangements with transportation companies and ma- 
terial men, thus affording the small contractor as far 
as possible an equal chance with the large contracting 

9. To maintain a testing laboratory, and scientific- 
ally examine and prove according to established 
standards all rock, sand, gravel, cement, asphalt, oils, 
etc., that may be used in state highway construction. 

Almost without exception, the counties when 
broug-ht to realize the benefit to themselves by the 
work contemplated have co-operated with the com- 
mission by furnishing bridges and rights of way at 
a saving to the state at large of fully $4,000,000. 
The saving to the counties themselves fully justified 
this expenditure on their part, as the roads and 
bridges thus built become the permanent property of 
the state and are maintained for all time by the 
state, relieving the counties of a tremendous and 
never-ending maintenance expense. 

Transportation companies were asked for favorable 
rates. The companies conceded that every dollar that 
California spent in permanent improved roadways 
meant additional freight and passenger traffic for 
the railroad lines and warranted their co-operation 
and support. A published one-half rate for material 
and supplies used in the state highway was the result 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

— a saving to the state which runs well into seven 

To cement manufacturers, rock men and other 
purveyors of supplies, the state has gone with an- 
other argument: that its tremendous buying ca- 
pacity, the absolute surety of payment, and the 
resulting increased capacity of the manufacturers' 
plants and consequent lessening of overhead expense, 
warranted the placing of the state upon a preferred 
basis as a buyer. In this way, cement is costing the 
state far less than the current market price, and 
other supplies in proportion ; an aggregate saving 
which has augmented the fund to the extent of prob- 
ably $2,000,000. 

It is necessary that the state should have absolute 
control over its roads wherever built. This was not 
possible in incorporated towns and cities. Accord- 
ingly, highway construction has not been undertaken 
within city limits — another saving in mileage, and in 
cost exceeding $3,000,000. 

At all times the overhead expense of the organiza- 
tion itself has been subjected to the most rigid 
scrutiny. An esprit de corps has steadily grown 
throughout the organization that is expressing itself 
in a saving to the public. One of the leading Amer- 
ican authorities in scientific business management 
volunteered high praise after an examination of the 
highway commission's method of organization. "The 
California highway commission has the most nearly 
perfect organization that I have ever seen," said he 
to a newspaper reporter, following his examination 
of the commission's system. "It is an example of re- 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

markable efficiency." In brief, for every $100 ex- 
pended by the commission, less than $10 is spent 
in overhead expense, in which is included every form 
of expenditure outside of actual construction, — sur- 
vey, engineering, salaries, general expense, mapping, 
etc. Out of every $100 expended by the commission, 
over $90 is expended in permanent road construction. 
The highway commission challenges any public or 
private enterprise of kindred nature anywhere in the 
country to produce a record of economical, efficient 
administration that will compare with this. 

By these various expedients and by a most careful 
and conscientious attention to the work at hand, the 
$18,000,000 provided by the act have been stretched 
to cover at least $30,000,000 of road construction, — 
an example of business efficiency which deserves and 
will receive the commendation of the people of Cali- 

"The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft 
aglee," runs the old Scotch maxim. 

The administration of a plan so far-reaching and 
so tremendous might easily negative the desired re- 
sults. It was necessary to follow that plan down to 
its very minutest details to insure the honest, efficient 
expenditure of the money in the work itself; and 
the safeguarding of the state against the introduc- 
tion of inferior materials and inferior work by the 
contractors. In order that the best materials, at the 
lowest price, might go into the job, the commission 
has let contracts for construction only, and has fur- 
nished to the contractors all materials that enter into 
that construction. 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

A rigid system of inspection tests and reports has 
< been inaugurated and followed up to ensure the 
proper performance of the work contracted. The in- 
terests of the state financially have been amply pro- 
tected on these contracts in two ways — by withhold- 
ing 15% of the money due the contractor at all 
times until the job was finally completed, satisfactorily 
inspected and accepted as a part of the state highway ; 
and secondly, by demanding that the work be done 
under a good and sufficient surety bond. 

The commission has never hesitated to refuse to 
accept work which has not been in accordance with 
specifications. Here again the misinformed and those 
who deliberately misrepresent have been led astray. 
They have represented that certain portions of the 
work done under the state's specifications have failed 
and that these instances constitute an unanswerable 
indictment against the accepted policy and the char- 
acter of construction of the highway commission. 
Pieces of work which have been condemned by the 
commission's inspectors, stand not as a loss to the 
state but to the contractors or their bondsmen. 

One of the most conspicuous examples of this is 
the five or six miles of state highway south of 
Healdsburg, in Sonoma county, and it is well that 
the circumstances connected with this piece of road 
be well understood. This is part of the contract let 
to Richard Keatinge & Sons, who failed while the 
work was in progress. The contractors themselves 
deliberately tore up and replaced 700 feet of work 
which they realized was too "raw" to be accepted. 
A rigid examination of the rest of the road by means 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

of test holes, made by the commission's inspectors to 
determine the thickness and character of the concrete 
pavement, has led to the condemning of a large por- 
tion of this construction. When weather conditions 
are favorable, this faulty construction will be torn 
up and replaced by permanent construction. Not one 
dollar of this expenditure falls upon the state, for 
the work is paid for partly from the 15% retention 
fund and the balance collected from the bondsmen of 
the contractors. 

This policy knows no exceptions. 

The duties of the highway commission have been 
much more extensive and onerous than contemplated 
by the act. In October, 1910, because of a world- 
wide financial depression, low interest bonds became 
unattractive to buyers. The state highway bonds, 
bearing 4% interest, at that time became unsalable 
in the open market, and have so remained up to this 
time. Construction work of every description appar- 
ently was about to be necessarily abandoned. 

Time, however, was to a considerable degree the 
essence of the highway act. The exposition of 1915 
loomed large as an advertising possibility in such sec- 
tions as could be reached by the state highway, 
and construction during this period was more im- 
portant than at any other time. 

Accordingly, the commissioners took upon them- 
selves the working out of details for financing con^ 

By arousing patriotic support among the banks, 
private individuals, boards of supervisors, etc., in the 
several counties, nearly $6,000,000 of highway bonds 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

were sold. In each instance the commission prom- 
ised to expend the money raised in the county upon 
highway construction in that county, in accordance 
with the original mapping of the routes. 

This has made construction necessarily somewhat 
halting and fragmentary, but this has not been al- 
lowed to have any bearing upon the ultimate cost of 
the completed system. 

It is a tribute to the entire scheme of the work that 
this result has been accomplished at a time when 
large corporate enterprises the world over were 
practically at a standstill. 

It has only been accomplished after a rigid in- 
vestigation of the policy and the adopted form of 
construction by the commission. Before boards of 
supervisors have acted, they have sent their engineers 
to examine into the nature of the work, and without 
exception such examination has resulted in the hearty 
co-operation of the inquiring county. 

The people of California have reason to be proud of 
the manner in which its highway commission has 
guarded their interests, augmented their funds and 
introduced efficiency and honesty in every dollar of 
their expenditure. In two and one-half years, under 
adverse financial conditions, and in the face of a 
gigantic undertaking, without precedent to serve as 
a guiding light, a tremendous work has been ac- 

The job has been thoroughly measured in every 

A policy in accordance with the law, and in ac- 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

cordance with business sense, has been adopted, and 
has withstood triumphantly every assault. 

An organization has been perfected, which for 
efficiency and economic working, stands without a 
peer in the field of either public or private enterprise. 

A character of construction in accordance with the 
needs of the country has been selected, and its worth 
and fitness is already triumphantly demonstrated. 

Approximately 2000 miles of the state highway sys- 
tem have been surveyed by the engineering force. 
The engineering work for approximately two years 
in advance is in final shape. 

Approximately 450 miles of construction has been 
completed, contracted for, or authorized. 

The work is being prosecuted as rapidly as finances 
and contractors' facilities will permit; and the middle 
of the exposition year will see California in possession 
of a state highway system sufficiently far along to 
be of tremendous value to the state in displaying its 
resources to our visitors. 

This is a constructive enterprise in which no small 
amount of foresight is necessary, in order that the 
future development of the state in population and in 
commercial enterprise may be assisted and perma- 
nently served by a comprehensive system of roads. 

If loyal service and an integrity that has never 
been challenged, business efficiency that is stretching 
the funds of the state by tens of millions, an ability 
that is expressing itself in a character of construc- 
tion that is making enthusiastic supporters wherever 
examined, and an untiring vigilance where the in- 
terests of the state and its people are concerned — if 


Efficiency in Road Building. 

these things warrant the sympathy and support of 
the people of California, whose work this is, then 
the pioneering work of California's first highway com- 
mission will go down through future years as a 
monument to the things that can be wrought where 
brain and heart and conscience all co-operate for the 
common good. 




The progressive administration has done much val- 
uable service to the people, and particularly to the 
business community, through the work of the board 
of state harbor commissioners of San Francisco. 

The situation that existed prior to the progressive 
administration was clearly depicted in a recent report 
of the harbor board: 

"Nowhere in the administrative branch of the state 
government was the malign influence of that domi- 
nating corporation more conspicuously illustrated than 
in the condition and management of the San Francisco 
harbor. For over forty years, with infrequent inter- 
vals, not long enough to effect much of a reform, the 
Southern Pacific practically owned and operated the 
water front, and used it as a private piece of business 
property for the advancement of its own political and 
business interests. 

"The evils of such a monopoly could not be set out 
in the limits at our command, though few things could 
be of more vital interest to the material advancement 
of the people of the state than a full knowledge and 
appreciation of the blighting effect of the control of 
the harbor and commerce of San Francisco bay, which 
is the greatest single asset owned or possessed by the 
state of California, by a gigantic railroad system, 
which had a direct interest in the cramping and 
dwarfing of harbor development." 

The present board, consisting of J. J. Dwyer, 

Work of State Harbor Commissioners. 

Thomas S. Williams and J. H. McCallum, has man- 
aged and operated the harbor of San Francisco 
without regard to special interests but for all the 
people and for the entire state of California. The 
harbor of San Francisco is self-supporting. The 
harbor commission, and the work done under it, as 
Governor Johnson said in his biennial message to 
the legislature of 1913, represent, not only shippers 
in the city of San Francisco and vicinity, but rep- 
resent the entire state, and particularly the great 
valleys of the state, which bring into the city of San 
Francisco, and over the wharves that are owned by 
the state of California, a tonnage annually of mil- 
lions of dollars. 

The present board of harbor commissioners, as 
the governor stated in that message, is the most 
efficient that has yet administered the affairs of the 
harbor. Its work has been undertaken upon a 
greater scale than ever before because it is making 
the effort in a short time to provide for the opening 
of the Panama canal, and the contingencies that will 
then confront it. This work should have been in 
contemplation many years in the past, and should 
not have been left until the last moment for its 


When the present board assumed office the water 
front had long been used mainly for the support of 
adherents of the old political machine. The trans- 
portation companies occupying the Ferry building 
paid grossly inadequate rentals which had been fixed 


Work of State Harbor Commissioners. 

by themselves. Most of the wharves were dilapi- 
dated. Immediately the progressive board of harbor 
commissioners appointed a committee of real estate 
experts to determine how much rent the transporta- 
tion companies should pay for space in the Ferry 
building. This committee recommended increases in 
rentals amounting, in round numbers, to $137,000 
per annum, and on October 1, 1911, the new rentals 
were put into effect. The money thus derived en- 
abled the board to make extensive and necessary 
repairs to the wharves, and to extend and improve 
the Belt Railroad and to purchase additional equip- 


Inefficient employees who had been appointed for 
political services to the machine were dismissed and 
all places of responsibility were filled by competent 
men. Those opponents of the progressive adminis- 
tration who are acquainted with the situation on the 
water front will admit freely that there has been a 
notable improvement in the personnel of the em- 


Almost immediately after assuming office, the 
progressive board made a reduction of ten per cent, 
in the regular wharf assignment rates, which meant 
a saving of five cents per lineal foot per month to 
the shipping companies who have regular berths. 


Seven piers, of the most modern character, and 
capable of accommodating a large number of ships, 

Work of State Harbor Commissioners. 

and a great volume of freight, have been either con- 
structed, or are in course of construction since the 
progressive administration took charge of the water 
front. The total estimated cost of these piers 
amounts to $3,800,000. Never in the history of the 
water front of San Francisco has wharf construction 
been carried out so extensively in so brief a period. 
In all cases of new construction the board furnished 
the cement on the contracts, the cement being sep- 
arately contracted for. 


Pier 17, at the foot of Union street, was com- 
pleted at a cost of $263,000. It is 800 feet long 
by 126 feet wide, and is equipped with a railroad 
track on the north side. Ships can load directly 
into cars. The wharf rests on wooden piles, pro- 
tected by concrete cylinders, steel I-beam caps pro- 
tected by concrete and a wooden deck. The shed is 
also constructed of wood. Including the installation 
of the wood block pavement, steel rolling doors for 
the shed and other incidentals, not incorporated in 
the contract, the total cost of this wharf was $286,000. 
The best engineers advised that it was necessary to 
use wooden piers, instead of concrete, in this con- 
struction, by reason of the great depth of the mud 
at that point. 


The next wharves completed were piers 30 and 32, 
at the foot of Brannan street, which are connected 
by a wharf 220 feet by 200 feet. The outside berths 


Work of State Harbor Commissioners. 

on these piers average 750 feet; the inside berths 
550 feet. They are, like the connecting wharf, 200 
feet wide. Both are constructed of reinforced con- 
crete cylinders on hard bottom, with concrete beams 
and deck. The sheds are of timber with steel outer 
columns, tracks for electric cranes, ship towers and 
telphers. Each wharf is provided with two spur 
tracks, connected with the Belt Railroad, one track 
on each wharf being depressed and the other level 
with the surface. The total cost of these piers, 
including cement, wood block pavement and steel 
rolling doors for the sheds was approximately 
$1,232,000. The wharves are now in commission. 


Pier 28, at the foot of Bryant street, has been 
completed. The wharf is 676 feet long and 150 
feet wide, and is constructed of reinforced concrete 
cylinders, having a reinforced concrete deck and 
shed. This wharf also is provided with two spur 
tracks, one on the surface and one depressed, con- 
nected with the Belt Railroad. The total cost, in- 
cluding cement, wood block pavement and steel roll- 
ing doors for the shed, was about $460,000. 

Another completed wharf is pier 26, between 
Bryant and Harrison streets. It rests on reinforced 
concrete cylinders on hard bottom with concrete 
beams and deck. The shed is of timber with steel 
outer columns, tracks for electric cranes, ship towers 
and telphers. The wharf is 765 feet long and 250 
feet wide with a spur track on each side, one de- 


Work of State Harbor Commissioners. 

pressed and one at grade. The total cost, including 
everything, was $608,000. 


Pier 39 at the north end of the water front was, 
at the beginning of this year, 63 per cent, complete. 
The wharf will be 908 feet long and 140 feet wide. 
It will be equipped with two spur tracks, and will 
cost $436,400. 

The contract has been awarded for pier 46, at the 
foot of Second street. The contract price is $146,215. 
This wharf, owing to the unusual depth of mud at 
that part of the water front, will be of timber on 
creosoted piles with a one-story shed of timber. It 
will be 800 feet long and 200 feet wide, with a 
section of bulkhead wharf 200 feet long by 60 feet 
wide. There will be a flush railroad track on the 
south side and a depressed track on the northern 

In addition to all this work actually done, plans 
and specifications have been completed in some cases, 
and are under way in others, for the construction of 
eight additional piers, all to be of the most modern 
type, and equipped with the most modern appliances. 


A new feature has been introduced in the con- 
struction of certain of these piers by building them 
at an angle to the seawall. The United States gov- 
ernment has placed the pierhead line at a distance 
of 800 feet from the seawall, beyond which pier 
construction is prohibited. The effect of inclining 


Work of State Harbor Commissioners. 

the piers at an oblique angle to the seawall will be 
to permit of piers ten and eleven hundred feet long, 
needed for the accommodation of mammoth ocean 
liners, and, it is believed, that a new fan-shaped ar- 
rangement of the ends will make navigation on this 
long curve of the harbor line easier and safer. 

The board in the construction of the new piers 
has inaugurated a radical departure in compliance 
with the insistent demand of the larger shipping in- 
terests by making most of them 200 feet wide. A 
few of the wharves constructed in recent years were 
made 140 feet wide. The older ones were mostly 
from 80 to 100 feet in width. Piers 200 feet wide 
will permit of operating the wharves with steamers 
on both sides simultaneously, an advantage impossi- 
ble on narrower piers, where the large cargoes of 
one modern steamer would take up all the space. 
Increased width thus results in economy of water 
slip space between the piers. It has also been de- 
cided to make all the water slip spaces between 
piers much wider than formerly, from about 225 to 
250 feet, in order to accommodate the larger modern 
vessels and facilitate safety and ease of navigation 
and keep both sides of all piers busy simultaneously. 

To replace the wholly wooden piers known as 
Nos. 5, 6, 8, 11, 14, 15 and 16, the board contem- 
plates erecting new piers of a modern character as 
soon as practicable. These old piers are rapidly fall- 
ing to pieces, through age and the action of the 
teredo and limnoria, very destructive marine borers, 
but they must be kept in commission and necessary 


Work of State Harbor Commissioners. 

repairs made in order to serve the present and ever- 
increasing demands of commerce until some of the 
additional new piers are built, when they will be 
successively eliminated. 

Three of the existing wharves, Nos. 9, 11 and 12, 
have been widened by the board and the Belt Rail- 
road runs on to them, with most gratifying results to 
the users of the wharves and a great increase in 
business to the port. Contracts have also been 
awarded for widening and repairing, with new creo- 
soted piles, piers Nos. 25 and 27. A railway spur 
track will be built on each. The contract for pier 
No. 25 was awarded to the San Francisco Bridge 
Company, and for pier No. 27 to the Healy-Tibbitts 
Construction Company. The price of the former is 
$12,766, and the latter $14,239. 


The board also contemplates the construction of 
four additional piers to project from the seawall 
along the China basin lease to the Atchison, Topeka 
& Santa Fe Railway Company. Under the terms of 
that lease, whenever a continuous seawall is con- 
structed from the Ferry building, at the foot of 
Market street to Channel street, and with the con- 
struction of a bridge across the mouth of the channel, 
the state thereupon becomes entitled, as a right of 
way and thoroughfare, to a strip 100 feet wide along 
the bay-front of the China basin leasehold, and to 
other incidents, and only on the completion of such 
continuous seawall and bridge is the board author- 


Work of State Harbor Commissioners. 

ized to construct piers from this portion of the shore 
line. Contracts have been let to the Daniel Contract- 
ing Company for the construction of the remaining 
two sections of the seawall, to be known as sections 
9-A and 9-B, totaling 1760 feet, and costing $500,000, 
and on January 1, 1914, the work on section 9-A was 
22 per cent, complete. When the work is fully com- 
pleted there will be a continuous seawall and the 
board will, therefore, be in a position to avail itself 
of its rights to the China basin water front, and 
call for bids for the four additional piers. 

The board was left a vexatious problem to solve 
by their predecessors in regard to pier No. 54, built 
for and occupied by the Santa Fe railway company. 
Through an unfortunate error in judgment by an 
engineer of the former board, a large area of rock 
alongside and adjacent to this pier, and protruding 
high above the depth of bottom-level required by our 
law and regulations, was not blasted out, or the 
blasting commenced, until after the pier was far 
under the way to completion. The result was that a 
ledge of rock has been left alongside the northern 
side of the pier, about six feet wide, two hundred 
feet long, and thirteen feet deep, which could not be 
blasted out without endangering, and perhaps de- 
stroying, the supports of the structure. The pier 
was completed by the previous board and the ledge 
allowed to remain, thus preventing the use of the 
north side of the pier by deep draught steamers, for 
which the pier was intended. Various engineering 

Work of State Harbor Commissioners. 


expedients were suggested and tried, such as chisel- 
ing, but without satisfactory result. It was finally 
decided to widen the wharf by twelve feet so as to 
cover the ledge, and the necessary plans and speci- 
fications have been completed and bids ordered called 
for on January 22, 1914. 

The construction of piers Nos. 29, 31 and 33 will 
necessitate the removal of the car ferry slips at 
Lombard street, and plans and specifications have 
been adopted for two new car ferry slips to be 
located between Powell and Taylor streets. 


Owing to the steady increase in the trans-bay pas- 
senger traffic in recent years it has been found that 
the present seven ferry boat slips at the foot of 
Market street are inadequate to meet the demand 
put upon them. As a result five new ferry slips have 
been planned by the board, three to the south and 
two to the north of the present system, and bids for 
slip No. 8, on the south side, were ordered to be 
called for on January 22, 1914. Slip No. 7 will be 
rebuilt and put on a line with the others. Two of 
the existing wooden piers, No. 3 at the foot of 
Clay street, and No. 4 at the foot of Mission street, 
will be pulled out to make room for the projected 
new passenger ferry boat slips. It is also contem- 
plated to construct a viaduct leading from the second 
story of the Ferry building and branching to the side- 
walks on each side of Market street. This will go 


Work of State Harbor Commissioners. 

far to relieve the congestion on the ground floor and 
to insure greater safety for pedestrians. 


An important improvement made by the board 
was connecting the southern and northern divisions 
of the Belt Railroad by a connecting link of half a 
mile crossing Market street. The board's predeces- 
sors had considered the matter, but to them insur- 
mountable obstacles seemed to be in the way. The 
present board, however, soon found an easy and 
simple way of solving the problem and on March 29, 
last, the formal opening of the connecting line took 
place. The total cost of the work was in the neigh- 
borhood of $65,000. The connection has done away 
with the laborious and costly system previously in 
vogue of carrying cars from the one division to the 
other on a freight ferry boat operated by the South- 
ern Pacific Company at a cost of from $11 to $15 
per car. The saving to shippers by this junction will 
be enormous, and will grow proportionately with the 
increase of commerce, the cost of crossing having 
been reduced to $2.50 per car. 

The extension of the Belt Railroad to the United 
States transport dock beyond Fort Mason, at the 
foot of Van Ness avenue, was a subject that ap- 
pealed to the board and action was promptly taken 
to carry out the project. Plans and specifications for 
the extension have been completed and the contract 
will be let as soon as funds are available. The 
length of the extension is \y% miles, of which 1400 
lineal feet is on trestle, and 1600 feet in concrete 


Work of State Harbor Commissioners. 

lined tunnel under Fort Mason military reservation. 
Incidentally the Exposition grounds will be served 
by the extension. The tunnel project was author- 
ized by the last legislature. 

The contract has been awarded to Tieslau Broth- 
ers for the erection of a reinforced concrete round 
house, containing engine house and shops for the 
Belt Railroad locomotives, at a cost of about $20,000, 
and the work of construction is going on. 


Until October 7, 1911, repair work to wharves was 
done under contract, which proved to be costly and 
unsatisfactory in many ways. Since that time the 
regular repair work has been done by the board's 
force, which is more satisfactory and more economi- 
cal. The electrical department has been kept busy 
making improvements, and as a result the installa- 
tion is now decidedly more efficient and economical 
and less dangerous. In this department the lights 
along East street were improved by the placing of 
twenty lamps between the chief wharfinger's office 
and pier No. 11, and twenty- four lamps between 
piers No. 34 and No. 44, the poles being of the 
department's own design. The lower gangway in 
the Ferry building was improved both in appearance 
and safety, by a systematic arrangement, in accord- 
ance with the rules, of the wiring of the different 
companies as well as the department's own wiring. 
Tungsten lamps were in a number of cases substi- 
tuted for arc lights, resulting in a saving. A system 


Work of State Harbor Commissioners. 

was established by which the main office is kept in- 
formed if the different fog bells are ringing and a 
system of signal lights has been placed in the Ferry 
building by which it can be determined whether or 
not the lights at the ends of the dolphins are burning. 


The dredging has been kept well in hand, the 

principal work having been the removal of the 

material which is constantly being deposited in the 
slips, brought down to the bay by the rivers. 






The progressive administration, under Governor 
Johnson, was the first administration to endeavor 
seriously and on an adequate scale to solve the flood 
problems of the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. 
It is, of course, true that the progressive adminis- 
tration did not provide the plan, so far as the en- 
gineering details go. That had already been done, but 
that plan was being very seriously interfered with 
and would in a short time have been rendered almost 
impossible to carry out save at extraordinary ex- 
pense, by the fact that private reclamation was push- 
ing districts and the construction work throughout 
the valley, which would have blocked the consumma- 
tion of the general plan. Districts were being leveed 
within overflow channels and projected by-passes and 
this work was proceeding so rapidly that in a com- 
paratively short time it would have been necessary 
to condemn a large quantity of reclaimed lands at 
most exorbitant prices, in order to carry out the 
general plan. 

There was no authority, either in state or nation, 
to prevent such a result. But the progressive admin- 
istration at the critical moment secured formal adop- 
tion by the state of the project and created in the 


Reclamation Work and Flood Control. 

reclamation board machinery through which the plan 
could be practicably carried out. 

The reclamation board appointed by Governor John- 
son consists of V. S. McClatchy, president, Peter 
Cook of Rio Vista and William T. Ellis of Marys- 
ville. The work of the reclamation board, if carried 
to an early completion, and there is no reason why 
it should not be, will be a lasting monument to the 
progressive administration. It will reclaim practically 
two million acres of land of the richest character, 
which will inevitably be very thickly populated and 
will produce enormous wealth. Mr. V. S. McClatchy, 
president of the reclamation board, published in the 
Sacramento Union of January 4th, 1914, a report of 
the "California Flood Control Project," which clearly 
and fully sets forth the importance of the flood 
problems in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, 
the solutions proposed and the steps taken by the 
progressive administration to provide the necessary 
funds and enable the work to be done. Mr. Mc- 
Clatchy's article, which tells the whole story, is here- 
with reprinted in full: 


(By V. S. McClatchy, president of the state reclama- 
tion board.) 

In response to the question: "What is the flood 
control project and what has the state board of 
reclamation to do with it?" 

To command immediate and absorbing interest on 
the part of a Californian it is only necessary to state 
what the flood control project is intended to accom- 
plish and to add that engineering authorities are now 


Reclamation Work and Flood Control, 

agreed that it is the only practicable plan by which 
the object sought can be attained. 

There are in the Sacramento and San Joaquin val- 
leys one and three-quarter million acres of land 
below the present flood plane that are subject to pos- 
sible injury by floods. There are no richer lands in 
the world. The soil is usually a very deep alluvial 
deposit, sometimes a clay covered by a layer of the 
fertile river silt. The soil will grow anything that 
will mature in the wonderful climate of California, 
and has, when reclaimed, a value based upon that fact. 

Of this entire acreage there may be 500,000 acres 
that are under reclamation more or less expensive and 
more or less secure. Xo district included in this 
acreage is absolutely safe from overflow, while neigh- 
boring districts succeed in keeping out the water. 
There are perhaps 250,000 acres in process of recla- 
mation, induced thereto by promise of a comprehensive 
plan of protection and the creation of a power to 
enforce compliance with that plan. There are a 
million acres which unless a plan of the kind is ac- 
tually carried out, must remain permanently useless, 
save for summer pasture or an occasional summer 

To safely and permanently reclaim that entire 
1,726,000 acres of rich land, to secure and maintain 
conditions under which the water at every point in 
the river channel can attain a maximum fixed height 
and never go higher ; to put an end to waste of money 
in running up levees to keep above an ever-rising 
flood plane ; to stop annual loss of property following 
in the wake of the flood waters ; to cover that fertile 
empire with a population of hundreds of thousands 
of people who can be supported thereon in comfort 
and luxury ; to add to the state's resources the wealth 
that will flow from continuous intensive cultivation of 
the land; and incidentally to permanently restore the 


Reclamation Work and Flood Control. 

navigability of the rivers (which no other plan can 
accomplish) and thus assist in developing the valleys 
and saving freight charges to the inhabitants — these 
are the purposes of the flood control project. 

The state reclamation board is an instrumentality 
created by the state of California to hasten the suc- 
cessful completion and operation of the great flood 
control project; to assist the United States by doing 
those things, in connection therewith, which are not 
within the federal government's province; and to en- 
force on the part of land owners and citizens of the 
state compliance with the conditions thereof. For it 
is agreed that in the California problem, navigation, 
flood control, care of mining debris and reclamation 
are so interwoven that they cannot be economically 
or practically treated separately. 

For fifty years reclamation in California has been 
a matter of the survival of the strongest financially. 
There has been an interminable conflict between 
swamp land owners and reclamation districts, based on 
the abstract right of each owner to protect himself as 
best he could against the common enemy — the flood 
waters. As each small holding, or unit, provided de- 
fenses for itself only, without following any compre- 
hensive plan and regardless of the effect upon other 
holdings or units, protection in each instance was 
secured by diverting the flood waters upon neighbors. 
The neighbors retaliated by constructing higher 
levees ; so with each new reclamation the flood plane 
was raised, the common danger increased and the cost 
of reclamation unnecessarily multiplied. With each 
man for himself, no general plan adopted and no 
tribunal to force all to work for the common good, 
many millions of dollars were thrown away in levees 
while general conditions gradually grew worse. Navi- 
gation in the meanwhile was most seriously injured. 

The problem lay in the fact that the tributaries of 


Reclamation Work and Flood Control. 

the Sacramento river if in maximum flood at the same 
time, will discharge six times as much water as the 
channel of the river between Sacramento city and 
Suisun bay can carry. No height or strength of levee 
practicable can confine such a body of water to the 
channel. It becomes simply a question of where the 
levee will break and whose property will be destroyed 
that safety to the rest may be secured. It must be 
remembered, too, that any break in the east levee of 
the Sacramento below Sacramento city pours the 
floods across into San Joaquin county, doing im- 
measurable damage in the delta of the San Joaquin 

The solution unanimously approved, after twenty 
years' investigation, as the only one practicable, is the 
by-pass plan — the flood control project. The channel 
of the Sacramento river is to be forced to carry all 
it safely can; and excess waters above an established 
flood plane are to flow over weirs and through by- 
passes in the adjoining basins down to a junction 
with the river at Rio Vista, whence a widened and 
deepened channel will carry them to the bay. This 
plan, definitely outlined by the United States en- 
gineers, composing the California debris commission, 
in the report of 1910, and modified as to apportion- 
ment of the cost by the supplemental report of 1913, 
has been formally adopted by the state of California, 
approved by the board of engineers for rivers and 
harbors and recommended to congress for adoption. 
As a matter of fact a joint appropriation by the state 
and nation of $800,000 is now being expended in 
opening the mouth of the river between Rio Vista 
and Collinsville under this plan. Formal adoption and 
additional appropriations are being now urged on 

The California legislature of 1911, special session, 
created the reclamation board, and the following 


Reclamation Work and Flood Control. 

legislatures largely increased its powers and duties, 
in order that the flood control project might be 
speedily carried to a successful conclusion. All 
reclamation plans must conform to the general project, 
and to that end, they must be first approved by the 
reclamation board. In addition it is clothed with 
arbitrary powers and may order the construction and 
maintenance of any levee necessary for general pro- 
tection, may itself construct such works, may con- 
demn lands for by-passes and construct the retaining 
levees therefor, and may levy assessments upon the 
lands benefited thereby to meet these expenses. 

The original act placed under the jurisdiction of the 
board all the lands below the flood plane and north of 
the San Joaquin river — about 1,250,000 acres. The 
act of 1913 added, at the request of the interested 
property owners, half a million acres in the San 
Joaquin valley. The acreage in the so-called Sacra- 
mento and San Joaquin drainage district now extends 
through fourteen counties, from Chico almost to 
Fresno. In addition, the board has been given con- 
trol of reclamation work on all tributaries of the 
Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and power to pre- 
vent the diversion of any stream that will increase the 
flow in the Sacramento or the San Joaquin. 

The board acts upon the recommendation of the 
California debris commission (composed of federal 
engineers), of the state engineer and of his assistant, 
the flood control engineer, and after public hearings 
in which all interested property owners may appear. 
There is thus secured harmonious co-operation be- 
tween nation, state and private owners. 

In the interests of navigation the nation is to pay 
half the expense of rectification and dredging the 
river channel, opening the mouth of the river and 
construction of weirs; the state pays the other half 
of these expenses ; the property owners are to pay, 


Reclamation Work and Flood Control. 

through private reclamation and assessments levied 
by the board, all other expenses, including cost of 
rights of way for by-passes and construction of by- 
pass and river levees. The estimated expense to be 
paid by the federal government and by California 
under this plan is $5,800,000 each. The expense to 
the land owners under the original estimates was 
$22,000,000. The amount will largely exceed that 
because rights of way and levees will cost very much 
more than is provided for in those estimates. 

The flood control project as reported to congress 
in 1910, was tentative as to details, and is subject to 
such modifications as may be made by the reclamation 
board under recommendation of the federal and state 
engineers. The board has already changed the loca- 
tion of the Yolo by-pass, moving it in places 5000 feet 
to the west, and has widened it ; has widened the 
American river overflow channel ; has moved the 
Sutter by-pass from the center to the eastern side 
of the basin. It will probably have to give the Sacra- 
mento weir and by-pass an increased capacity of 50 
per cent, because of the facts recently ascertained as 
to the flood waters carried by the American river 
in 1861-2. It has established in the various basins 
the new flood plane necessitated by changed conditions 
and to which all reclamation work must conform. 

Under the board's approval much of that portion 
of the project which must be done and paid for by the 
land owners has already been accomplished. The east 
levee of the main Yolo by-pass — forty-two and a half 
miles long — will be completed in 1914 with the closing 
of the west levees of the Netherlands and Mull- 
Merkley districts, now under way; the east levee of 
the main Sutter by-pass from Nelson bend to the 
mouth of the Feather is already constructed in the 
west levee of the Natomas district ; the west 
levee of the Sutter by-pass from the mouth of 


Reclamation Work and Flood Control. 

the Feather to the latitude of Tisdale weir, and 
the south levee of the Tisdale subsidiary by-pass, are 
now being constructed by the Sutter Basin Improve- 
ment company, district No. 1500, and will be com- 
pleted in 1915. These pieces comprise between one- 
third and one-half of the main by-pass levee system. 
Work on the balance will undoubtedly be commenced 
within the next two years, either by private enterprise 
under the board's approval, or by direct order of the 

The Knights Landing ridge canal, designed to carry 
the flood waters of Colusa basin into the main Yolo 
by-pass, is being rapidly pushed, and will be com- 
pleted in 1914. 

Sacramento city has bonded herself for $500,000 
for purchase of rights of way and levee construction 
in connection with the opening of the Sacramento by- 
pass, and if congress will make this session the appro- 
priation asked for weirs, work on this by-pass can 
commence in 1914. 

The federal government is steadily pushing its 
share of the work in widening and deepening the 
mouth of the river between Rio Vista and Collins- 
ville, under joint appropriations from congress and 
the legislature. Two immense suction dredges which 
cost nearly $400,000 are being continuously operated 
at a very large monthly expense. The channel is to 
be widened to 3000 feet and dredged to a depth of 
thirty-five feet, so as to give the capacity for the 
600,000 second feet which may be called for when- 
ever the tributaries of the Sacramento are in flood 
crest at the same time. 

To secure the necessary data upon which to base 
action in these matters, engineering parties of the 
state engineering department and of the California 
debris commission have been in the field for eighteen 
months past. It will perhaps be two years before the 


Reclamation Work and Flood Control. 

field work for both the Sacramento and San Joaquin 
valleys can be completed. In the meanwhile the 
reclamation board is formulating its plan; preparing 
the great assessment rolls and platting the lands of 
the great district in readiness for levying assessment 
for work in various sections thereof; encouraging 
private enterprise to go ahead with units of the great 
project under that provision of the law which permits 
the return of moneys so expended; adjusting dif- 
ferences of long standing in reclamation matters be- 
tween individuals and districts ; educating the public 
to a realization of what the completion of the project 
means to the state in population, in wealth and in ex- 
ports ; and working towards that co-operation of all 
elements without which early and complete success 
can not be insured. 




Up to the time of the inauguration of Governor 
Johnson each legislature appropriated certain sums 
of money for the purpose of carrying on the work 
of the fish and game commission. During the ad- 
ministration of Governor Gillett the sum of $129,- 
500.00, and during the administration of Governor 
Pardee the sum of $160,000.00 was set aside for 
that purpose. Under Governor Johnson's administra- 
tion not one cent has been appropriated by the 
legislature for the work of the fish and game com- 
mission. The commission is self supporting, all of 
its funds being derived from the sale of licenses and 
the collection of fines. 

Whereas under previous administration the busi- 
ness of the commission was practically without out- 
side control, for the past three years all disburse- 
ments of the commission have been first authorized 
by the board of control and subsequently audited and 
approved by the said board, and in addition by the 
civil service commission (since Aug. 10, 1913) and 
by the state controller. 


The commission has prosecuted extensive investi- 
gations as to the life, breeding habits, migrating 
peculiarities and possibilities of artificial propagation 
of fish and game. The information gained forms 



Work of Fish and Game Commission. 

basis for legislation, and methods of propagation 
and production. 


The commission has taken a leading place among 
the fish and game boards of the world in its work 
in educating the public, and particularly the children, 
as to the value of wild life of all kinds, and in the 
need and value to the state of properly caring for 
it. For the first time illustrated lectures have been 
delivered by experts throughout the state, and in 
particular in the primary and grammar schools, in 
addition to which provision has been made for the 
teaching to the children of these subjects. Efforts 
have been made also to have students at the normal 
schools and universities informed as to the value of 
fish, game and birds with a view to extending and 
making more valuable their activities as future teach- 
ers. The commission has fostered and encouraged 
the formation of protective associations, the 20,000 
or more members of which are pledged to the pro- 
tection of fish and game. The commission has in 
every proper way disseminated information in regard 
to the fish and game laws of this state and the 
reasons for their being upon the statute books and 
for being observed. 


Game Refuges: Under the administration of Pres- 
ident Roosevelt an area of some 216 square miles was 
set aside in this state as a shelter and breeding ground 
for ducks and other water fowl. The various national 
parks within the state of California are also set aside 


Work of Fish and Game Commission. 

as game refuges, and, following the example set by 
the national government, the last legislature set aside 
a tract of land aggregating 119 square miles in the 
Cleveland national forest as a game refuge. 

At the suggestion of the present commission the 
law was amended, making it practicable for private 
individuals to transfer to the state of California the 
right to preserve and protect all wild game on their 
land. Under this law as amended over 30,000 acres 
situated in different counties have already been 
offered to the state as game refuges where nobody, 
not even the owners of the land, will be allowed to 
hunt. The value of these refuges lies in the fact 
that the game thereon will not only increase and 
overflow upon the adjoining lands, but also may be 
trapped and transplanted on districts that have been 

Fish Reservations: Portions of several large 
streams in the state and large stretches of coast area, 
where the commission has learned from investigation 
that fish breed and are in need of protection, have 
been set aside as fish refuges. 


In the last three years the commission has propa- 
gated at its hatcheries 35,000,000 trout and 60,000,- 
000 salmon, being the total number of salmon eggs 
turned over to the commission by the U. S. bureau of 
fisheries. Under a co-operative arrangement with 
the U. S. government, all salmon eggs in California 
are collected by it and turned over to the commission 
to hatch and distribute. The commission collects all 


Work of Fish and Game Commission. 

the trout eggs. Most of these fish were propagated 
at Sisson, the largest trout hatchery in the world. 
The trout propagation for this period is far in excess 
of that of any three-year period of any previous 
commission. With the probable increased revenues 
the propagation of trout by the commission should 
be between 15,000,000 and 18,000,000 for 1914, with 
a very considerable annual increase thereafter. 

Distribution of Fish: It has been the policy of this 
commission to retain the young fish for a longer pe- 
riod than heretofore, on the theory that the larger 
and stronger fish have a much better chance of 
reaching maturity than the smaller and weaker ones. 
No waters closed to the public are stocked by the 
commission. The figures as to the distribution of 
fish by the present commission represent actual count. 
The commission has also exacted a receipt from every 
person in the state obtaining fish, which has not 
heretofore been done. Hundreds of thousands of 
trout, black bass and striped bass left stranded by re- 
ceding waters along the coast and in the interior 
valleys have been transplanted to living waters. In 
addition, thousands of trout, including the golden trout, 
have been planted in hitherto barren waters in the 
Sierra Nevada. As a result of the distribution of 
fish by the commission about seventy-five per cent of 
the fish now caught in the streams of this state are 
the result of the work carried on by the commission. 

Screens and Ladders: For the first time in the 
history of the fish commission active steps have 
been taken to install screens in ditches that were 
draining the streams of fish. A comprehensive sur- 


Work of Fish and Game Commission. 

vey and map of all the streams of the state is being 
made which will give the location of every natural 
and artificial stream obstruction and water diversion 
in the state. A number of natural obstructions have 
been removed by the commission's agents, while, 
wherever artificial obstructions have been found the 
owners or persons responsible have been directed to 
provide suitable fish-ways from plans given by the 
commission. During the past two years more work 
on screens and fish ladders has been done in Cali- 
fornia than in all of the other states of the Pacific 

Pollution of Waters: Special attention has been 
given to the abatement of the pollution of waters by 
factory refuse, oil, sawdust, etc., throughout the en- 
tire state. By the vigorous prosecution on the part 
of the commission of various oil companies, factories, 
steamship companies and gas companies this evil 
has been remedied to a very large extent. The pol- 
lution of the Truckee river which has been a long 
standing and particularly flagrant evil is now in a 
fair way to be abated. The owners of the factories 
along the stream are now taking active steps to keep 
all deleterious matter out of the stream. 


The state game farm at Hayward has served as 
a station for experiments in the breeding of native 
and foreign game birds. It has also been the means 
of inducing several hundred private breeders to en- 
gage in the business of raising game. The present 
commission has in the past two years raised and dis- 


Work of Fish and Game Commission. 

tributed from the game farm over 2700 pheasants 
against 1200 of the same species raised during the 
prior four years of the game farm's existence. The 
commission has also distributed from this farm 1266 
pheasant eggs, 1060 wild turkeys and 2424 quail. 
Not one of these birds has been liberated on a gun 
club or on a private shooting preserve. 


During the last three years the commission has 
provided for the first time an effective patrol of every 
part of the state. The laws for the protection of 
fish and game have been fairly but firmly enforced 
in every part of the state. The present commission 
has been the first one to put a stop to the illegal 
dealing in game in the large cities by so-called trans- 
fer companies. All the unlawful game and fish con- 
fiscated by the commission has been donated to char- 
itable and public institutions. 

Being mindful of the people's rights in wild game 
and fish, the commission has exerted every possible 
endeavor to guarantee the widest and freest exercise 
of the hunting and fishing privileges. The deputies 
of the commission have been forbidden under penalty 
of instant dismissal to patrol private clubs or pre- 
serves for the benefit of the owners or lessees. 

Believing that the enforcement of the trespass laws 
does not come within the jurisdiction of the commis- 
sion, such matters have been left to the regular peace 


At the recommendation of the present commission, 
the legislature in 1911 enacted a measure which prac- 


Work of Fish and Game Commission. 

tically throws open to the public every stream in the 
state for fishing. Even if any stream should ever 
again be closed to the public by private interests, it 
could be declared a highway for the purpose of 
fishing and could be restored to the public under 
the operations of this law. 

The present commission had the honor of recom- 
mending to the 1913 legislature the so-called non-sale 
law. Similar legislation has already been enacted by 
a majority of the states and has the unqualified en- 
dorsement of all the leading conservationsts. To 
guarantee a supply of wild game in the markets, the 
last legislature enacted a measure which makes pos- 
sible the raising of deer, quail, pheasants, ducks and 
other game birds and animals on private game farms. 
At least a hundred such farms are now being estab- 

As a result of the investigations conducted by the 
commission, the last legislature was able to provide 
suitable protective measures for all of the valuable 
food fishes. The laws now in operation should save 
to the people of the state a resource that is of in- 
creasing value. 



The state civil service commission was appointed 
August 11, 1913, and immediately found itself con- 
fronted with the task of classifying all of the state's 
employees before it could hold examinations. The 
number of employees was not known. The commis- 
sion found that approximately 4834 positions were 
subject to its jurisdiction. Each employee was put 
into his proper class according to the duties of his 
position, resulting in 198 classes. 

The commission had also to make rules and regula- 
tions to govern these thousands of employees in their 
relations to the state — their employment, dismissal, re- 
instatement, trial for dereliction of duty and the like. 
This work was merely preliminary, however, to the 
real work of examinations. The test of a civil service 
law is putting men to work. All the machinery of 
administration is a false quantity unless the result is 
civil service men and women actually at work. All 
employees of the state working August 15th were 
given a civil service status by the civil service law. 
The task of the commission was therefore much easier 
than it would have been if all state employees had to 
be examined. Still, the task of the civil service com- 
mission cannot be better illustrated than by the fact 
that since August 15th over fifteen hundred temporary 
employees have been authorized by the civil service 
commission, such is the extent of the state's business. 
The decks have been cleared for action. The com- 


Work of State Civil Service Commission. 

mission was ready for examinations on November 
14th, the date of classification. It has had thirteen 
examinations at the present date (February 1st), held 
in different parts of the state, and has adopted a 
formal schedule of one examination a week for the 
next year with the resolution of sandwiching in as 
many more between as it can prepare for. The labor 
of preparing examination questions, holding the ex- 
aminations and marking the papers has been greater 
than anticipated because of the unexpected numbers 
taking the examinations. For one vacancy in the 
position of wharfinger under the state board of harbor 
commissioners, 350 applicants were examined and 
their papers graded. 

The papers of all applicants are given a number 
and are marked and approved by Professor B. P. 
Kurtz of the University of California and a corps of 
expert readers before the names of the applicants 
are known to the examiners. 

The greatest work that the commission has to un- 
dertake^ — the establishment of efficiency records in 
the various departments — has had to wait somewhat 
while the commission has been getting under way. 
The commission has adopted a system by which the 
efficiency records of each employee under civil service 
will be marked by his immediate supervisor each 
month. Poor work, insubordination, inebriety, etc., 
will appear on this record and, if it is of sufficient 
demerit, the employee will be automatically tried and 
dismissed. All that will be investigated will be the 
accuracy of the record made by the employee himself. 


Work of State Civil Service Commission. 

No inefficient man can then be kept in the service of 
the state against the will of the head of the depart- 
ment, as often has happened in the United States 
civil service. 

In the establishment of such a branch of govern- 
ment as the new civil service law some friction 
naturally must result, but the different state officials 
are co-operating with the civil service commission and 
the new law will be firmly established. Not one of 
the 4834 employees of the state can be replaced, no 
new appointment can be made and no transfer or re- 
instatement made without the previous approval of the 
civil service commission. 

Ample power is given to the civil service commis- 
sion, for each salary warrant must be approved by it 
before it is paid and Controller Chambers has assured 
the commission that he will not audit any warrant 
without the previous approval of the civil service 

Politics are removed from the state government as 
far as the appointees of the state's vast army of 
employees is concerned. Possibly the most graphic 
demonstration of the new order of things is this sign 
hanging in the outer office of the state harbor com- 
mission at San Francisco : "All applications for office 
are referred to the state civil service commission at 
Sacramento." No governor can remove a civil service 
commissioner; that requires a two-thirds vote of both 
houses of the legislature. 



Education, and the teaching profession, have re- 
ceived most liberal and enlightened treatment from 
the progressive administration. 


Conspicuous among the services rendered to educa- 
tion by the progressive administration has been the 
legislation making text-books absolutely free for 
pupils in the public schools. For years the opponents 
of the measure, chiefly eastern text-book publishers, 
have been able to prevent the distribution of free 
text-books to the pupils. The progressive administra- 
tion, ignoring the sophistries, and disregarding the 
lobbyists, that have prevailed in former years, enacted 
the free text-book statute as part of the administra- 
tion's program of legislation. 


The state university has fared well under the pro- 
gressive administration, of course, and has prospered. 
The increase in the registration of the University of 
California in 1913 over 1912 was 631 students, and 
in 1913 the increase over the same date of two years 
previous was over 1100. The University of Califor- 
nia is today the largest state university in the United 
States, the second largest university in the United 
States, and the largest university in undergraduate 
registration of all universities, both state and privately 
endowed. In 1911 the appropriation for the uni- 
versity, including the state university fund, was $2,- 


Education and Teachers. 

305,000. In 1913, the total appropriation was $3,- 


A new state board of education has been created. 
Formerly, the state board consisted of active school 
men. The new board consists of seven lay members 
and directs the general policy of education in Cali- 
fornia. Under this body three commissioners are in 
immediate charge of school work. The most im- 
portant development thus far under the new order is 
the attention that is being given to vocational train- 
ing. One commissioner devotes himself entirely to 
this subject. 

A teachers' pension bill has been enacted, after 
much discussion, providing for the payment of retire- 
ment salaries for public school teachers. Thus, the 
teachers in the public schools are provided with pen- 
sions, although the word "pension" is avoided in the 

Public school houses throughout the state are now 
used as civic centers, wherein meetings may be held 
to discuss subjects of public interest. Union high 
schools are permitted to establish libraries, and pro- 
vision has been made for the establishment of county 
free libraries by boards of supervisors. 


Within his first two years in office Governor John- 
son was confronted with the problem of meeting an 
increase of thirty-one per cent, in attendance at the 
state normal schools. This increase was more than 
twice as large as any previous increase in a similar 


Education and Teachers. 

length of time. He found normal schools established 
at San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chico and 
San Jose. A new normal school had been founded at 
Santa Barbara but was occupying the city school 

Not only were additional teachers necessary to 
meet this increase, but new buildings and additional 
schools were essential. 

At a cost of $85,500 Santa Barbara has been pro- 
vided with the necessary buildings. 

A new normal school was founded at Fresno and is 
now being provided with the necessary buildings at a 
cost of $215,000. 

A new normal school to meet the demands of the 
north has also been founded and will be located in 
the county of Humboldt. 

At the old established schools new buildings were 
also necessary. 

At a cost of $100,000 one new building at San Jose 
has been provided, and another is under course of 

The old site of the Los Angeles normal school was 
sold for a sum sufficient to construct an entirely new 
school. This new school is now being completed and 
will be equipped at a cost of $78,000. 

The next improvement to be made in the normal 
schools is the construction of a modern building to 
replace the old structure of the San Francisco normal. 

In addition to the buildings necessary the sum of 
$350,000 has been devoted to providing an adequate 
staff of instructors and proper support and equip- 
ment for all the normal schools. 


Education and Teachers. 

California today has the finest system of normal 
schools in the United States, and this is true not only 
as to the grounds and magnificent buildings, but as 
to the courses of instruction. 

In previous administrations the presidents of nor- 
mal schools found it necessary to come to Sacra- 
mento to lobby for a sufficient amount of money to 
operate their institutions. Under the budget system 
inaugurated by the board of control the needs of 
all the institutions were scientifically determined and 
the necessary appropriations were forthcoming while 
the presidents of the schools remained where they 
belonged — at their respective institutions. 



One of the most important accomplishments of the 
progressive administration was the extension of the 
scope, and the increase in the usefulness of the agri- 
cultural department of the state university. Gov- 
ernor Johnson was earnestly desirous of making the 
whole university, but particularly the agricultural de- 
partment, of direct service to the people. In his 
biennial message to the legislature, he said: 

"We may be justly proud of the academic promi- 
nence of the university of California. It has attained 
an eminence that entitles it to-day to be ranked among 
the great institutions of our nation. In enrollment it 
is the second college in the land, being exceeded in 
the number enrolled by Columbia alone. Its situation 
is ideal, the standard of its work equal to any, and 
I feel that too great praise cannot be accorded to 
those who have brought it to its present high acad- 
emic efficiency. 

"I wish it, however, to serve the other purpose as 
well; to be in touch with the agricultural and horti- 
cultural and viticultural interest of the state; to be 
the mecca of every man who wishes to know how 
best to treat or till the soil; to be as useful to our 
people who have been without academic advantages 
as it is to those who seek academic advantages. It 
should be possible upon any technical subject, govern- 
mental or otherwise, for us at once to turn to the 
university and there find collated all the information 
upon that particular subject. It should contain ex- 
perts of such standing that those who wish knowl- 
edge or instruction in any particular avocation may 
turn there with the certainty of finding what is 


The Farmer. 

sought. It should be in such close and intimate touch 
with our soil that it should teach those who are upon 
the soil the best methods of treating the soil, what 
would be the most prolific and productive, and what 
of greatest advantage. 

"We endeavored in some small measure to attain 
this end by the agricultural college at Davis, and re- 
cently as dean of the agricultural department a gen- 
tleman of national reputation was appointed. We 
wish the agricultural department of the state uni- 
versity to be really a department of agriculture, to 
be a college of farming, and to lend that aid, assist- 
ance, encouragement and enlightenment which may 
bring the best results. 

This department of the university is of quite as 
vital importance as any other department, and we are 
striving now to bring it to the highest degree of 
progress and efficiency. Increased appropriations are 
asked for this department, and these increased ap- 
propriations, in the main, I heartily commend. It is 
unnecessary to dwell upon the source of our greatest 
wealth — our soil — to point out to you the extraordi- 
nary importance of our horticultural, viticultural, and 
agricultural interests. And just as in the proportion 
that these are important to us, in just that propor- 
tion should the agricultural department, in dealing 
with them, be to our university. 

"The university should be the investigating arm 
of the government of the state. Problems constantly 
are arising which require for their solution immedi- 
ate action and information, and which cannot be 
solved with the rapidity and facility desired because 
we can turn to no place in the state for appropriate 
information. In the last two years we have embarked 
upon different and new economic policies, some of 
which have been attempted in other localities and 
some of which are not new in foreign nations. In 
these matters it would have been of inestimable serv- 


The Farmer. 

ice to the government could we have turned to some 
particular agency and obtained at once the requisite 
data. It is just this purpose that the university- 
should serve." 

The best available man in the United States, Dr. 
Thomas Forsyth Hunt, was appointed dean of the 
agricultural college, and many important additions 
were made to the faculty of that department of the 
university. Liberal increases were made in the ap- 
propriations, not only for the entire university but 
particularly for the agricultural department, the 
appropriation for which was raised from $268,345 to 
$711,000. There are now more than 500 students in 
that department at Berkeley, and there are two hun- 
dred more at the Davis farm school. More than two 
thousand persons are now receiving instruction in 
agriculture by means of correspondence lessons. 

From its headquarters at Berkeley the department 
carries on three branches of work, — instruction, re- 
search and public service. 

One of the best features of the work is the exten- 
sion or public service department, devoted to answer- 
ing inquiries by farmers. Thousands of letters are 
received every month asking questions about soil, 
diseases of plants and of cattle and things affecting 
every branch of farming. These letters are referred 
to experts and every one is answered. More than 
fifty thousand letters are written annually and more 
than 400,000 bulletins and circulars are distributed. 
It is not easy to calculate the good done by this 
service. The work of the extension department is 
rapidly expanding, as the farmers discover that this 


The Farmer. 

expert information is available to them free of 

Each fall, short courses in agriculture are given at 
the Davis farm to an attendance which has averaged 
150 persons. Regular students in the department 
are required to take six months' work at the uni- 
versity farm during their junior year. 


Cholera threatened the hog business in California, 
but a serum institution was established at the uni- 
versity which supplied certain quantities free of 
charge. This laboratory was established by the legis- 
lature of 1911 with an appropriation of $16,000. 
During the year ending June 30, 1913, the virus was 
used to immunize approximately 52,300 head of hogs. 
The result has been the overcoming of the disease 
in California and the saving of hogs valued at over 


Another notable instance wherein the university is 
a direct benefit to the farmers is the alkali experiment 
that is being conducted on the Kearney state farm at 
Fresno. Irrigation in the arid regions brings up the 
problem of alkali. Drainage is the solution, but to 
develop a practical system of drainage has been a 
great difficulty. For the first time a business-like 
experiment is now being conducted in California. 
One hundred and sixty acres of the Kearney farm 
have been tiled and checked and pumping was begun 
in February. The question has been to make drain- 
age feasible from the view point of cost. The ex- 


The Farmer. 

periment is being conducted on such a scale and in 
such fashion as to produce results that will determine 
whether or not great areas of land can be reclaimed. 
There is nothing of more vital importance to the 
agricultural industry of the state than this work. 
The best scientific authorities in the country have 
drawn upon the experience of all the world and if 
they make a success of their experiments it will be a 
blessing to the valleys of California. 


Appropriation was made by the legislature of 1913 
to expand greatly the work of the citrus experiment 
station in southern California. It is aimed to have a 
farm of 200 acres so that experiments can be con- 
ducted over a wide range, and thoroughly and ef- 
fectively. In general the work is to be on tropical 
and sub-tropical fruits, such as citrus fruits, walnuts, 
olives, avocados and the like, each of which promises 
to become a great industry in the state. Other prob- 
lems of the farmer will be studied on this farm. 

The university also conducts an experiment station 
at El Centro, Imperial county, where experiments 
relating to the growing of vines, cotton and cereals 
as well as other crops which may be suited to that 
region, are conducted. At the sub-station at Whittier, 
Los Angeles county, research work bearing on the 
nature and control of plant diseases affecting fruit 
and vegetables is conducted. 


Besides the experimental working being carried oh 
directly by the department of agriculture there are 

The Farmer. 

also irrigation investigations which are carried on in 
co-operation with the experiment station, United 
States department of agriculture ; drainage experi- 
ments carried on in co-operation with the drainage 
bureau of the United States department of agricul- 
ture; and a co-operative seed testing laboratory in 
conjunction also with the United States department 
of agriculture. 


Soil surveys of the state have been undertaken in 
conjunction with the bureau of soils. Since July 1, 
1913, four and one-half million acres have been sur- 
veyed. The survey is an authoritative statement of 
soil types and their adaptation to various crops. 


A system of agricultural advisers through the divi- 
sion of agriculture extension has been organized in 
co-operation with the division of farm management 
and bureau of plant industries of the United States 
department of agriculture. Professor B. H. Croch- 
eron, assistant professor of agriculture extension, has 
been appointed state leader to organize agricultural 
advisers throughout the counties of the state of Cali- 


The agricultural student club of the university has 
organized more than forty branch agricultural clubs 
in the high schools of the state with an aggregate 
enrollment approximating 2000 young men. 

Work is also being carried on in the investigation 


The Farmer. 

of crops grown on delta lands, in co-operation with 
the department at Washington, in lima beans with the 
lima bean growers' association, and in the study 
of the causes and cure of infantile paralysis with 
the state board of health. The expert work of the 
Alameda county milk association and the San Fran- 
cisco medical milk commission is conducted by the 
veterinary science department of the university, and 
this department has assisted in the organization of 
cow-testing associations throughout the state. 

Under special acts by the legislature the university 
through its department of agriculture has carried out 
certain lines of work desired by the state. In the 
fertilizer control laboratory 650 samples of fertilizer 
were analyzed during the past year. In the insecti- 
cide control work seven inspectors traveled approx- 
imately 10,000 miles and visited 332 towns, rendering 
detailed reports on the insecticides stocked by 1631 
dealers of whom 984 were operating under licenses 
issued by the university. There were 9646 brands 
registered and labels inspected and 777 samples taken 
and 553 analyses made. 

Through agricultural extension work the university 
of California reaches the greatest number of people 
in this state. This work is carried on first, through 
farmers' institutes and farmers' meetings and agri- 
cultural educational trains, second, by placing agri- 
cultural advisers in various sections of the state, and 
third, by advice and counsel from the main office 
or by visitation by a member of the office staff. 
Counsel is given freely to any citizen of the state 
concerning any agricultural matter upon which the 


The Farmer. 

department is competent to speak, provided only that 
the information is not used for advertising purposes. 
Where personal visits are required on the part of the 
members of the staff the traveling expenses are paid 
by the party receiving counsel. 

Farmers' institutes in the past year were held in 37 
of the 58 counties of the state with a total attendance 
of 39,715. Lectures were given at teachers' insti- 
tutes and at high schools to a total attendance of 


The two special trains sent out during the year, 
"the frost special" and "the dairy and swine spe- 
cial," covered a distance of 1000 miles and made 
a total of 74 stops and had a total attendance of 
21,575 persons. All told by means of correspondence, 
farmers' institutes, lectures and special work, such as 
dairy testing and hog serum work, the department of 
agriculture of the university during the past year has 
come in contact and has directly assisted more than 
100,000 people. 

Other legislation for the benefit of the farmer may 
be itemized as follows: 


Large special grants for lands and buildings at the 
university farm at Davis, amounting to $135,000, and 
the citrus experiment station in southern California, 
amounting to $185,000. 

Sacramento and San Joaquin drainage district 
created, a strong commission appointed, and a large 
appropriation made to solve the flood problem, im- 


The Farmer. 

prove navigation, develop irrigation, and thus protect 
the soil and enlarge the arable area of California. 
This work is well under way. 

Act to regulate manufacture, sale, adulteration, and 
misbranding of insecticides or fungicides or materials 
used for insecticidal or fungicidal purposes. 


Importation of neat cattle for dairy or breeding 
purposes prohibited, except when accompanied by 
certificate from a veterinarian that they have been 
examined and subjected to the tuberculin test and 
are free from disease. 

State veterinarian, secretary of state board of health 
and state commissioner of horticulture asked to make 
investigation of the injury, as well as extent thereof, 
to animal life and vegetation caused by smelter waste. 


Creation of state board of viticultural commissioners 
to collect and disseminate useful information relating 
to viticulture, best methods of growing grapes and 
handling the grape and its products; to conduct lec- 
ture courses ; to give special attention to diseases and 
pests, etc. 

Appropriated $10,000 for the employment of in- 
spectors to supervise the dipping of sheep in a cam- 
paign against the disease known as scabies. 

Prohibited importation of horses afflicted with 

farmers' institutes. 

Act of previous legislature appropriated $30,000 
for farmers' institutes. Appropriated $5000 for col- 


The Farmer. 

lection by the directors of the state agricultural so- 
ciety of statistics showing the yield of agricultural 
and other farm and industrial products, and to pub- 
lish each year the number of acres of land in the 
state under irrigation, and the number, location and 
extent of any new irrigation enterprise. Appro- 
priated $30,000 for the erection of a dairy building at 
agricultural park for dairy display at state fairs. 

Enactment prohibiting importation of horses, mules, 
asses, or cattle unless they have been examined and 
found free from infectious and contagious diseases. 


A commission created to investigate the different 
co-operative agricultural societies and systems of rural 
credits in Europe, and report thereon, with a view to 
establishing in this country a sound system of rural 
credits and agricultural finance. 






A comprehensive tenement house statute was en- 
acted designed to insure fresh air, proper sanitation, 
and adequate protection against fire in tenement 


A law was passed regulating the cold storage busi- 
ness, designed to prevent unsanitary conditions, and 
the storage of diseased food, and requiring that all 
articles of food deposited in cold storage shall be 
marked plainly on the container with the date of 
receipt, and withdrawal, and that no. food shall be 
kept in cold storage more than twelve months with- 
out the consent of the state board of health. The 
statute makes it unlawful to sell food that has been 
in cold storage without advertising the fact, and 
makes it unlawful to represent or advertise as fresh 
articles or goods which have been placed in cold 
storage. This statute was opposed by the interests 
affected but none of the lobbyists against the bill 
could answer the question whether the purchaser of 
food was not entitled to know what he was getting. 
The law does not prohibit the sale of food that has 
been in cold storage; it merely prevents the sale of 
diseased food, and the deception of purchasers. 

One of the most important enactments, relating 
to food, was the statute making it unlawful to de- 


Public Health and Pure Food. 

stroy any food-stuff which is in fit sanitary condition. 
The purpose of this statute was to prohibit the 
practice of dumping whole shiploads of fruits and 
vegetables into the bay upon their arrival from the 
farm, in order to keep up the price of commodities 
in San Francisco. 


Various sums were appropriated for the investiga- 
tion and eradication of tuberculosis, rabies, Asiatic 
cholera, bubonic plague, and smallpox. Medical prac- 
titioners required to make reports to the state board 
of health of all occupational diseases. 

Legislation was enacted permitting the parole of 
the mentally sick. 


The board of medical examiners was created to 
regulate the practice of medicine. 

Governor Johnson appointed Dr. Donald H. Currie 
of the United States health service as a member of 
the state board of health, which in turn elected him 
secretary and executive officer. By this step it is 
expected that co-operation between the state and the 
federal health authorities will be facilitated. 

There were numerous other enactments to prevent 
the manufacture or sale of unsanitary food. 



With its enlightened social vision the progressive 
administration has done more for the business inter- 
ests of the state than any so-called "business" ad- 
ministration, with a narrow outlook, could possibly 
have done. Among the ways in which the progres- 
sive administration has aided business may be enu- 
merated : 


The work of the railroad commission which has 
fixed rates fair both to public service corporations 
and to consumers, has prevented the watering of cap- 
italization, and has prohibited unnecessary duplica- 
tion of plant, and wasteful competition. 


The work of the state harbor commission at San 
Francisco which has constructed numerous wharves 
and docks, has reduced rates on shipping, and has 
improved service in many particulars. 


The creation of the industrial accident commission 
and the enactment of the workmen's compensation 
insurance and safety act. Thus the progressive ad- 
ministration has removed from business an element 
of uncertainty, which was a dangerous factor, and* 
has prevented a waste of money which was bur- 
densome alike upon the employer and the employee. 
The cost of accidents has been thrown upon the 


Helped Business. 

operation of the business, where it belongs, and 
then has been assumed by insurance companies, just 
as fire losses are assumed. In other words, security, 
through insurance, has taken the place of the old 
waste and hazard. 


Banking conditions have been greatly improved 
by the superintendent of banks. At the same time 
the banking law has been modified and rendered 
more practical. As a result, the banks of California 
are as a whole in better condition than they were 
three years ago. 


The creation of the new state board of control 
which has greatly improved the administration of 
public institutions, and eliminated graft and waste, 
and which has placed all bidders for State contracts 
upon an equal footing, where influence or favoritism 
give no advantage to anybody. 


The work of the state highway commission, which 
has built hundreds of miles of excellent roads 
throughout California, and is extending the system of 
state highways rapidly. 


The encouragement which has been given to the 
state university, and particularly to the department 
of agriculture. The university, through the depart- 
ment of agriculture, has been brought close to the 


Helped Business. 

people and has become an active agency for the im- 
provement of agriculture. 


The amendment of the taxation system so that the 
state government is now supported by taxes levied 
on certain classes of corporations; and also, by such 
economical administration of the state government 
that the biennial increase in taxation has been re- 
duced by approximately one-half. 


Various statutes designed to prevent fraud and un- 
fair competition, such as the weights and measures 
act, the net container act, the act regulating the cold 
storage business, the minimum wage act, and the 
blue sky law. These measures, like all the social 
legislation of the Johnson administration, protect the 
honest and humane merchant, manufacturer and pro- 
moter against dishonest and slave-driving competi- 


Business has been helped also, 

By the abolition of race-track gambling, and other 
forms of gambling, which tempt employees to dis- 

By the redlight abatement law, and other measures 
for the abolition of vice, which will prevent economic 

By a great program of social legislation and social 
activity, such as the minimum wage, the immigration 
commission, the eight-hour law for women, and the 
child labor law, which, besides protecting the kindly 


Helped Business. 

and enlightened employer against unscrupulous com- 
petition, will go far to prevent the economic and in- 
dustrial revolution that would inevitably follow stupid 
persistence in the stand-pat attitude toward the 
general demand for industrial reforms. 




During the session of the legislature of 1913 a 
great outcry about "freak legislation" was made by 
newspapers hostile to the progressive administration. 
At every session of the legislature, of course, there are 
introduced some foolish or silly bills. The introduc- 
tion of such bills is a favorite device of the opponents 
of an incumbent reform administration whereby to 
create the impression that the administration is run- 
ning to fads. But the test is not what bills are intro- 
duced but what bills are enacted into law. 

No freak legislation whatever became a law as a 
result of the session of the legislature in 1913. In- 
deed, the two sessions of the legislature held under 
the progressive administration have been conspicuous 
for the lack of freak legislation. The legislature in 
these two sessions was so earnestly occupied in the 
consideration of the great volume of sane, construc- 
tive, and beneficial legislation designed to modernize 
the government and the laws of California, and was 
composed of men, for the greater part, of such su- 
perior character and intellect, that it had neither the 
time nor inclination for the fads or frivolities that 
filled the time of reactionary legislatures when they 
ought to have been attending to the people's busi- 

Here is a list of the subjects concerning which im- 
portant legislation was enacted by the legislatures of 


No "Freak" Legislation. 

1911 and 1913. Let any critic of the administration 
justify the assertion that any one of these measures is 
"freak legislation. " 


Popular election of United States senators. 

Direct primary. 

Australian ballot in its pure form. 

Initiative, referendum and recall. 

New railroad commission, with plenary powers. 

Creation of state board of control. 

Water conservation. 

Panama-Pacific and San Diego expositions. 

Civil service throughout the state government. 

Non-partisan election of judges. 

Reform of state tax system. 


Suppression of race track gambling. 
Local option. 

Abatement of commercialized vice, known as red- 
light abatement law. 

Two a. m. closing ordinance for bar-rooms. 
Suppression of slot-machine gambling. 


Employers' liability, superseded in 1914 by work- 
men's compensation. 

Reform of criminal procedure. 
Alien land ownership. 
Minimum wage. 
Old age pensions. 
Tenement houses. 
Study of rural credits. 
Prison reform. 
Immigration and housing. 


No "Freak" Legislation. 

Various provisions for the safety of workers and 
the public. 

Bringing the university close to the people, and 
making the department of agriculture directly ser- 
viceable to the farmer. 


Woman's eight-hour bill. Amended in 1913 to in- 
clude student nurses at hospitals. 
Free text-books for school children. 
Women's suffrage. 
Mothers' pensions. 
Teachers' pensions. 
Child labor. 
Probation for minors. 


Blue sky law. 

Weights and measures law, net container act, and 
pure food act. 


Improvement of the harbors. 

Drainage and flood problems of Sacramento and 
San Joaquin valleys. 




Enacted the law making pool-selling and book- 
making a felony, and thus at one blow abolished race- 
track gambling, an evil which had been a prolific 
source of wretchedness and crime for very many 


Prohibited gambling in various other forms and 
thus put the slot machines out of business. 


Provided for the commitment of inebriates to state 
hospitals, and thus kept many away from the pen- 
itentiaries who, in the old days, would have been 
branded as convicts. 


Authorized the regulation of the liquor traffic by 
local option, thus giving every community power to 
deal with its own liquor problem. 


Enacted the redlight abatement law, designed to 
destroy commercialized prostitution, the exploitation 
of unfortunate women by "white slavers," and a cer- 
tain class of landlords. This law throws its weight 
against the men, instead of the women who have 


Public Morals. 

borne the brunt of all other laws designed to abate 
the social evil. 


All bar-rooms required to close between* the hours 
of 2 and 6 a. m. 


Raised the age of consent for female minors from 
16 to 18 years. 




Among the most important matters accomplished by 
the present state administration was the passage in 
the last legislature of the redlight abatement bill. 


The abatement act changes the present law in rela- 
tion to prostitution. As the law stands today its 
practical effect is to forbid prostitution by making the 
prostitute herself personally responsible. She is the 
one who is arrested when any arrest is made. There 
are laws prohibiting the leasing of property for this 
purpose, but the application of them has been made so 
difficult by judicial decision that they are a dead letter. 
The only result of arresting the women is that they 
are bailed out by friends, and then have to ply their 
business all the harder to repay those to whom they 
have been placed under obligation. Now the abate- 
ment bill places the responsibility primarily on the 
lessee of the property, and on the owner also if he is 
responsible. Any superior judge can, after a hearing 
when both sides shall appear, close any building for 
one year if the building has been used for the pur- 
pose of lewdness, assignation or prostitution, pro- 
vided this fact has been proved by satisfactory evi- 
dence. The building can be opened by giving a bond 
equal to the value of the building, with the pledge 
not to allow prostitution to be established. 


The Redlight Abatement Bill. 

The bill does two things : first, it puts the responsi- 
bility on the lessee or the owner; second, it removes 
the monopoly of prosecution from the district attor- 
ney, and gives it to any citizen as well as to the dis- 
trict attorney. 


This law is a most necessary and effective step in 
dealing with prostitution. In the last decade, the 
business of prostitution has been commercialized and 
organized. The Kneeland report in New York shows 
that over 500 men were engaged in the regular busi- 
ness of prostitution. Thirty houses in the tenderloin 
were discovered being operated as one concern under 
the direct control of 15 men, who have been in the 
business for many years in many cities. Another 
group of 38 men owned and operated 28 houses. 
This report says that white slavery depends on the 
existence of houses commercialized in this way. 
Moreover, capital invested in houses for this kind of 
business brings in a much larger income than capital 
invested in legitimate business. In San Francisco, 
for instance, in the Barbary Coast, property that for 
legitimate purposes brings only $40 to $100 a month 
rents when used for illegitimate purposes for $350 a 
month, and in one case $900 a month on a ten-year 
lease. The Empire House in San Francisco, which 
cost only $8000 to build, for a considerable period 
brought in $2100 per week, a total of $109,200 a 
year. The abatement bill does one great thing. It 
makes the income from this kind of property uncer- 
tain. It therefore will drive capital away from such 


The Redlight Abatement Bill. 

investment. As long as the business pays a certain 
class of capital is going to press into, and therefore 
tend to increase the business of prostitution. It is 
going to make prostitution as powerful a temptation 
as possible. But this bill gives the opportunity to 
any citizen to close houses used in this business. The 
hotel-keeper who now feels the temptation that comes 
from the ability to rent a suite of rooms three or four 
times a night, will hesitate when he knows that it 
will jeopardize his lease. The man who is tempted to 
invest will hesitate when he knows the income is un- 
certain. This bill cuts the spinal cord of the com- 
mercialized business of prostitution. It destroys the 
organized exploitation. 


We need now to consider the arguments made 
against the bill. The danger of scattering prostitution 
in the residence dictricts would be enough to make 
one hesitate in supporting it. But it is clear that where 
any citizen has the right of complaint, such scattering 
would be impossible unless the citizens of the district 
were unanimous in favoring prostitution in the dis- 
trict. The very minute a house of prostitution en- 
tered a district, any citizen could bring a complaint 
before any judge of the superior court. Such action 
certainly would prevent any scattering into the resi- 
dence districts. Indeed, a careful study of the present 
situation in San Francisco and Oakland discloses very 
clearly the fact that prostitution is widely scattered 
even now. There are no segregated districts in any 
true sense. 


The Redlight Abatement Bill. 

The next objection that is very strong in the minds 
of many people is the fear that this law will endanger 
the just rights of the owner. If any citizen can bring 
an application for injunction, would it not be possible 
for an enemy to wreak vengeance, or for a dissatisfied 
lessee to cancel his lease in this way? The code of 
civil procedure requires one asking for an injunction 
to file a bond sufficiently large in the judgment of the 
court to establish his good faith in such action. 
Thus, nobody could bring a charge of this kind with- 
out being able to show his good faith by filing a bond. 
And further the lessee would be still liable for his rent 
in case the building were closed. 

Again many people fear that the closing of the 
segregated district would leave the women of our city 
in danger from attacks from desperate men. The ex- 
perience of Iowa was appealed to, to answer this 
question. There an abatement bill, much like our bill, 
has been in force for five years. It was found that 
in that state there had been fewer attacks on women 
since the application of the law than before. The 
fact is that men who are continent and who are not 
tempted are not the ones that violate women. Those 
who violate women are men used to the gratification 
of their sensual instincts. They have the opportunity 
in the segregated districts when they have the money. 
When they are without money, they have these same 
instincts, which are aroused by the conditions in the 
segregated districts; but are without the means to 
satisfy these instincts. These are the men who violate 


The Redlight Abatement Bill. 

women. A segregated district itself does much to 
lead to this kind of crime. 

But people say the enforcement of this bill would 
result in street-walking and solicitation from women. 
But an investigation of this question shows that if 
solicitation is carried on in any degree in any city the 
police are responsible. A few years ago, for instance, 
solicitation on Broadway was common. Today there 
is practically no solicitation in that same district in 
New York. It is entirely due to the careful police 

The questions with w r hich the bill deals are complex. 
After careful consideration, however, we are em- 
phatically of the opinion that this bill will be effective 
as the first step in diminishing prostitution. The de- 
struction of commercialized prostitution in itself would 
be a tremendous moral gain in our community. This 
bill will destroy the commercialized organization of 
prostitution, which is its spinal cord. It will thus 
give prostitution locomotor ataxia. 

This bill was passed at the last legislature and was 
duly signed by the governor. It has throughout re- 
ceived the active opposition of the whole tenderloin 
element. This element immediately got busy after the 
passage of this bill and presented a petition for a 
referendum signed by the required number of names. 
This bill is therefore now before the people on a 
referendum to be voted on the 3rd of November. An 
examination of many of the signatures of this petition 
has disclosed the fact that there are wholesale forger- 
ies, that literally thousands of names were written 


The Redlight Abatement Bill. 

on the petitions utterly without the knowledge of the 
men whose names appear. It is fair then to say that 
the referendum for the redlight abatement bill is a 
forged referendum, and part of a plot to thwart the 
will of the people of California by criminal action on 
the part of men who are willing to forge and perjure 
themselves. This action has an especially sinister 
aspect when we realize that it gives into the hands of 
criminals power to thwart the will of the people, to 
suspend the operation of a law duly passed by the 
people's representatives by means of wholesale forger- 
ies on referendum petitions. 



California's hospitals for the insane felt the baneful 
influence of machine political government to a greater 
degree than any others of the state's great institu- 
tions. These institutions founded and built up at 
enormous expense for the benefit of the unfortunate 
insane were in several instances perverted into quasi- 
penitentiaries and the inmates were treated as crim- 

Political workers, without any training, were in- 
stalled in these hospitals as nurses and attendants; 
corrupt contractors delivered inferior foodstuffs and 
many time articles unfit for consumption; the heads 
of those institutions which were honestly conducted 
could not get sufficient money to pay an adequate 
staff or to properly house the insane; the introduc- 
tion of methods of treating insanity recognized as 
successful and adopted in leading hospitals of the 
world were frowned on as "freak" ideas; the general 
idea being to keep the patients confined with as little 
trouble as possible and provide comfortable berths for 
as many loyal political adherents as possible. 

For three years the medical superintendent of each 
of the six big state hospitals has had absolutely 
autocratic power in the hiring and discharging of 
nurses, attendants, physicians and all other help. 
The only demand made has been that the persons 
9 257 

California's Five Hospitals for the Insane. 

employed shall be the most efficient and best trained 
that can be secured. The result has been the im- 
provement of the staffs of these institutions until to- 
day they compare favorably with the best private 
hospitals in the state. 

For three years the person of most importance in 
every hospital has been the patient. The comfort 
and care of the patients has been the first considera- 
tion, and the comfort and care of the officers and em- 
ployees the second. For the last two years and a half 
the pure food and drug laboratory at Berkeley has 
been the judge of all foods and drugs supplied to 
the state hospitals, and the finest quality of food has 
been purchased for less money than was formerly 
paid for inferior food. 

During the last two years and a half the state gov- 
ernment has wrestled with the problem of repairing 
the existing buildings and providing proper additional 
structures for the housing of the hundreds of patients 
formerly housed in garrets and filthy basements. 
While millions of dollars were devoted to political 
purposes these hospitals had been allowed to drift 
along without proper support. 

Within the last two years and a half California's 
hospitals have been equipped with the necessary 
buildings and equipment for the administration of 
hydrotherapy. The hydrotherapeutic treatment, which 
consists in a large degree in a system of continuous 
hot baths under the supervision of trained nurses and 
physicians, has marked the greatest advance in half 
a century in the treatment of insanity, and has re- 
sulted in the curing of a large percentage of patients 


California's Five Hospitals for the Insane. 

in the state's hospitals. The great service rendered by 
the treatment has been in connection with new and 
acute cases, many of which have been treated and 
turned back into the world without at any time hav- 
ing been confined in the wards of the institution. 

The re-education of the insane and other methods 
which have been successfully used throughout the 
world have been introduced in California's hospitals. 

With the improvements already made and those 
under way California's five hospitals for the insane 
and its home for the feeble-minded will rank second 
to none in the United States. 

In addition provision has been made for the founda- 
tion of a new hospital for the insane at a cost of 
$250,000 to relieve the congestion in the present in- 

Had Governor Johnson done not another single 
thing, his taking of the hospitals out of politics and 
modernizing them would have entitled him to the 
thanks of humanity and to the afifection of the 
thousands of relatives of those unfortunate people 
who, through no fault of their own, are under treat- 
ment for insanity. 




Constitutional amendment providing for the in- 
itiative, referendum, and the recall, including the 
recall of judges, approved by the legislature and laid 
before the people, who approved it by an over- 
whelming majority. The initiative, referendum and 
recall were also extended by legislation to munic- 


Act carrying into effect the constitutional amend- 
ment adopted November 8, 1910, providing for the 
separation of state from local taxation, and provid- 
ing for the taxation of public service and other cor- 
porations, banks, insurance companies, etc., for the 
benefit of the state. 


Establishment of standard of weights and measures 
in California, to prevent the use and sale of false 
weights and measures, and to prevent the sale of 
goods by false weight or measure. 

The net-container act, providing for the indicating 
of the net quantity of foodstuffs offered for sale in 
containers. This, and the weights and measures act, 
are designed to protect the public against fraud. 


Railroad commission reorganized. Constitutional 
amendment laid before the people, extending the 

General Legislation. 

powers of the railroad commission and giving it that 
plenary jurisdiction which it has exercised with such 
benefit to the public. 


Establishment of a direct primary law, faithfully 
carrying out the principles of the direct primary and 
correcting the unsatisfactory measure forced through 
under the rule of the bosses. 


Providing for a method to permit the electorate to 
choose United States senators by direct vote of the 
people. The direct primary was also extended so as 
to provide for the choice of presidential electors. 


Liberal enactments in aid of the San Diego expo- 
sition, Italian international, Los Angeles exposition 
building, and Panama-Pacific exposition. 


Free passes prohibited by constitutional amend- 


Preserving California's soil for the white race. 


Establishment of civil service under the state gov- 
ernment, whereby over 4000 state employees are 
taken out of politics. Comparatively few appointive 
positions remain. The members of the civil service 
commission are removable only by a three-fourths 


General Legislation. 

vote of the legislature. The commission is, there- 
fore, free of all political control. 


Creation of the industrial welfare commission, 
otherwise known as the minimum wage commission, 
to investigate and deal with the employment of women 
and minors, including a minimum wage. This com- 
mission is authorized to make an order specifying the 
minimum wage for women or minors in any occupa- 
tion, and also specifying the maximum number of 
hours of labor per day. 


Creation of the state highway commission to ex- 
pend the $18,000,000 provided by the bond issue 
authorized by the people for the construction of the 
state highway. 


Blue sky law, designed to protect investors from 
promoters, selling stocks and bonds, in illegitimate en- 
terprises, or for prices fraudulently out of proportion 
to the value of the stocks and bonds so sold. The 
law does not apply to securities of corporations sub- 
ject to the railroad commission. The blue sky law is 
to be enforced by the commissioner of corporations. 
This law is enlightened legislation for the protection 
of the public against swindlers. It will make the 
securities of California corporations respected at home 
and abroad. The operation of the blue sky law has 
been suspended by referendum proceedings. The 
man who led the fight against the blue sky law, and 


General Legislation. 

instigated the referendum, was the head of a large 
investment corporation which has since failed disas- 
trously. Had the blue sky law been in effect a 
few years ago that particular corporation would not 
have been able to cause loss to thousands of small 


New bank act which ameliorates the severity of 
the former statute, in some respects, but increases 
the authority of the superintendent of banks, thus 
providing more effectively for the security of de- 
positors, but at the same time freeing the banks of 
burdensome regulations. 


An act prohibiting discrimination between different 
sections, communities or cities or portions of the 
state, on behalf of persons engaged in the production, 
manufacture, distribution or sale of any commodity 
of general use or consumption, when such discrimina- 
tion is intended to destroy the competition of any 
regular dealer in such commodity, product or service. 
Unfair price cutting for that purpose prohibited. 


An act practically making oil pipe lines common 
carriers and putting them under the jurisdiction of 
the railroad commission. 


Act authorizing a commission to investigate old 
age insurance, pensions and mothers' pensions. 


General Legislation. 

Meanwhile provision is made for the support of 
widowed mothers maintaining their children at home. 


Redlight abatement statute, the purpose of which 
is to prevent the commercializing of vice, and the ex- 
ploitation of unfortunate women by a class of men, 
including certain landlords. Hitherto, in all legisla- 
tion designed to abate the social evil, the penalties 
have fallen upon the unfortunate women, who are 
victims, in large part, of groups of men that profit 
most by commercialized vice. The design of the 
redlight abatement bill is to make vice commercially 
unprofitable to such men, and thus to abate the social 
evil by abolishing the profits which induce such men 
continually to extend the social evil, and lure both 
men and women into immorality. The operation of 
the redlight abatement law has been suspended by 
referendum proceedings. 


Statute creating the Sacramento and San Joaquin 
drainage district, and creating a commission with 
ample funds and powers to solve the flood problems 
of the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. It is 
expected that this commission will accomplish much 
to prevent the great losses caused by floods in the 
central valleys of California. 


Enactment permitting a municipal corporation to 
acquire control and operate a public utility, including 
water, light, heat, power, transportation and trans- 


General Legislation. 

portation service. Various laws were enacted in 
1911 and 1913, with a view of facilitating the acquisi- 
tion by municipalities of public utilities, and generally 
to aid the public ownership of public utilities. 


The progressive legislature went on record, by reso- 
lution, in favor of the establishment of postal savings 
banks, the income tax, and the parcel post, and 
against the exclusion by the Russian government of 
certain classes of American citizens, and in favor of 
the election of the president and vice-president by 
popular vote. 


Creation of the commission on immigration and 
housing, for the investigation of all things affecting 
immigrants, and for the care, protection and welfare 
of immigrants. This commission is to study in ad- 
vance the problems with which the state will be 
confronted when the expected huge immigration to 
California through the Panama Canal shall begin to 
arrive. The commission is to gather information 
for the benefit of immigrants, and to direct immi- 
grants to those parts of the state where they will be 
most likely to thrive and where their talents will be 
most beneficial. The commission has wide authority 
in such matters as the establishment of employment 
bureaus, the inspection of labor camps, the investiga- 
tion of sanitary and safety conditions, the control of 
ticket agents, hotel runners, interpreters and pawn- 


General Legislation. 


Conservation act providing for a water commission 
to control the waters of the state, with power to pass 
upon applications for water rights, to ascertain the 
rights of those who claim water privileges, and giv- 
ing the state authority to control the development 
of all water power, and to demand pay for it. This 
is a thorough-going measure to prevent the capital- 
ization of any water right granted by the state and 
the subsequent taxation of the people to provide a 
revenue upon the capitalization so created. It will 
not hurt business, but on the contrary will encourage 
the legitimate development of the water power of 
California for beneficial use, and will not prevent 
any person or corporation, so developing water 
power, from earning a proper revenue upon the ac- 
tual investment. The act is an enlightened and prac- 
tical piece of legislation in accord with the conserva- 
tion idea. The operation of this act has been de- 
layed by a referendum. 

In 1911 the legislature enacted a conservation act 
creating a conservation commission, and regulating 
the appropriation of water for the generation of 
electricity. The creation of the water commission, 
and the conservation act enacted in 1913, was at the 
suggestion of the conservation commission created in 


Creation of department of engineering to consist 
of an advisory board composed of the governor, state 
engineer, general superintendent of state hospitals, 


General Legislation. 

the chairman of the San Francisco harbor board, and 
three others members to be appointed by the gov- 
ernor, these three serving as the state highway com- 
mission. Further, a consulting board appointed by 
the governor to the department of engineering for 
all matters that affect irrigation, drainage, and river 
improvement. The advisory board shall advise with 
the state engineer, highway engineer, or state archi- 
tect as necessity requires, and shall advise with 
boards of managers or trustees of various state in- 
stitutions requiring engineering or structural work 
and with any state commission regarding any work 
wherein the said commission may be interested. 


Creation of the state board of control which has 
audited all the books of the state institutions, — the 
first audit made in twenty years. The board of con- 
trol has general powers of supervision over the 
financial and business policies of the state, and super- 
vises all contracts for supplies. It has established 
a uniform system of accounting for all state depart- 
ments and institutions. It has corrected many abuses, 
eliminated much waste and graft, has established the 
budget system of providing for the financial needs 
of the state and has reformed and modernized the 
whole financial system of the state government. It 
has created confidence among business houses and 
has secured justice and impartial treatment for all 
bidders on state contracts. 




No act of the progressive administration attracted 
wider attention or caused greater excitement than the 
alien land bill, which, in its final form, provided: 

"1. All aliens eligible to citizenship under the 
laws of the United States may acquire, possess, enjoy, 
transfer and inherit real property, or any interest 
therein, in this state, in the same manner and to the 
same extent as citizens of the United States, except 
as otherwise provided by the laws of this state. 

"2. All aliens other than those mentioned in sec- 
tion 1 of this act, may acquire, possess, enjoy and 
transfer real property, or any interest therein, in this 
state, in the manner and to the extent and for the 
purposes prescribed by any treaty now existing be- 
tween the government of the United States and the 
nation or country of which such alien is a citizen or 
subject, and not otherwise, and may in addition 
thereto lease lands in this state for agricultural pur- 
poses for a term not exceeding three years." 

This legislation was enacted in response to an 
insistent demand from the farmers and the working- 
men of California, and was designed to prevent the 
development of a race problem which, unless definite- 
ly checked at this early stage, would become as in- 
curable and oppressive as the negro problem in the 

At the election in 1912, the democrats of Cali- 

The Alien Land Bill. 

fornia were definitely pledged by their platform to 
enact legislation "that will prevent any alien not 
eligible to citizenship from owning land in the state 
of California/' and this matter was made by them 
an important issue in the campaign. On the other 
hand, the platform of the progressive republicans 
said nothing on the subject, although the progressive 
republicans individually were, for the most part, 
strongly in favor of such legislation. 

Before President Wilson took office, Senator John 
B. Sanford, a prominent democratic member of the 
state senate, boasted that he would introduce a bill 
which would prevent any alien not eligible to citi- 
zenship from owning land in California, and he as- 
serted that this bill would cause great embarrassment 
to Governor Johnson. When some one suggested 
that the bill might also cause great embarrassment 
to the democratic national administration Senator 
Sanford replied that President Wilson and Secretary 
Bryan understood the situation perfectly. 

When the members of the legislature had assem- 
bled at Sacramento, but before the time of the in- 
troduction of bills had arrived, the president and 
directors of the Panama-Pacific exposition pleaded 
with the members to agree not to introduce any 
anti-Asiatic bills. They insisted that the very intro- 
duction of such bills would offend China and Japan, 
and cause those two nations to refuse to participate 
in the exposition. Throughout the discussion of 
these bills, the Panama-Pacific Exposition Company, 
earnestly believing that the legislation would hurt the 


The Alien Land Bill. 

Exposition, brought to bear on the members of the 
legislature all the pressure it could command in order 
to prevent them from voting in favor of the anti- 
Asiatic bills. 

The farmers, however, argued, with eloquence 
and force, that it would be better to abandon the 
exposition than to permit Japanese to extend their 
control of the soil of California. The preservation 
of California for the white race was of greater im- 
portance, they said, than the success of the exposi- 

Ralph Newman, a Sacramento valley farmer, 
stated the case for the farmers in these words, as 
quoted by Franklin Hichborn in his very excellent 
"Story of the California Legislature of 1913," which 
contains a full and interesting account of the enact- 
ment of the alien land bill: 

"The argument of the exposition directors amounts 
to this: If we pass an alien land law now, Japan 
will bite off her nose to spite her face, and the blood 
may muss things up. Therefore, let us wait two 
years, and then we'll soak her. But I want to tell 
you that if the Japanese government is as keen as 
the Japanese who are getting our land, those tactics 
will not work. 

"Near my home is an eighty-acre tract of as -fine 
land as there is in California, On that land lives a 
Japanese. With that Japanese lives a white woman. 
In that woman's arms is a baby. 

"What is that baby? It isn't a Japanese. It isn't 
zvhite. Til tell you what that baby is. It is a germ 
of the mightiest problem that ever faced this state ; 
a problem that will make the black problem of the 
south look white. 


The Alien Land Bill. 

"All about us the Asiatics are gaining a foothold. 
They are setting up Asiatic standards. From whole 
communities the whites are moving out. Already the 
blood is intermingling. At present the problem is 
comparatively easy and can be snuffed out. But let 
it go even a little longer and it cannot be snuffed 

"We farmers are interested in the exposition. We 
zvill do all that we can for it. But there is one 
thing that we cannot and will not do for it. We will 
not jeopardize our race. 

"In dealing with the men who demand this anti- 
Asiatic legislation you are dealing with men who do 
not put the dollar above all else. Our governor has 
shown us what the initiative is. The farmers of 
California will show you how to use it." 

On April 22, 1913, President Wilson sent a tele- 
gram to Governor Johnson and the legislature, in 
which he said: 

"I speak upon the assumption, which I am sure is 
well founded, that the people of California do not 
desire their representatives — and that their repre- 
sentatives do not wish or intend — in any circum- 
stances to embarrass the government of the United 
States in its dealings with a nation with whom it 
has most earnestly and cordially sought to maintain 
relations of genuine friendship and good will, and 
that least of all do they desire to do anything that 
might impair treaty obligations or cast a doubt upon 
the honor and good faith of the nation and its gov- 

"I, therefore, appeal with the utmost confidence to 
the people, the governor, and the legislature of Cali- 
fornia to act in the matter now under consideration 
in a manner that cannot from any point of view be 
fairly challenged or called in question. If they deem 


The Alien Land Bill. 

it necessary to exclude all aliens who have not de- 
clared their intention to become citizens from the 
privileges of land ownership, they can do so along 
lines already followed in the laws of many of the 
other states and of many foreign countries, including 
Japan herself. Invidious discrimination will inevita- 
bly draw in question the treaty obligations of the 
government of the United States. I register my 
very earnest and respectful protest against discrim- 
ination in this case, not only because I deem it my 
duty to do so as the chief executive of the nation, 
but also, and the more readily, because I believe that 
the people and the legislative authorities of California 
will generously respond the moment the matter is 
frankly presented to them as a question of national 
policy and of national honor. If they have ignored 
this point of view, it is, I am sure, because they did 
not realize what and how much was ihvolved. ,, 

To the president's telegram, Governor Johnson 
replied as follows: 

"To the President, Washington, D. C. : Immediate- 
ly upon receipt of your telegram of this date, it was 
transmitted to both houses of legislature. I think I 
may assure you that it is the desire of the majority 
of the members of the legislature to do nothing in 
the matter of alien land bills that shall be embarrass- 
ing to our own government or offensive to any other. 
It is the design of these legislators specifically to pro- 
vide in any act that nothing therein shall be con- 
strued as affecting or impairing any rights secured 
by treaty, although from the legal standpoint, this is 
deemed unnecessary. If any act be passed, it will 
be general in character, relating to those who are 
ineligible to citizenship and the language employed 
will be that which has its precedent and sanction in 
statutes which now exist upon the subject. I speak, 


The Alien Land Bill. 

I think, for the majority of the senate of California, 
certainly I do for the vetoing power of the state, 
when I convey to you our purpose to co-operate fully 
and heartily with the national government and to do 
only that which is admittedly within our province 
without intended offense or invidious discrimination." 

On the following day President Wilson telegraphed 
to Governor Johnson and the legislature inquiring 
whether it would be agreeable to have the secretary 
of state, Mr. Bryan, visit Sacramento for the pur- 
pose of counseling with the members of the legis- 
lature and co-operating with them in the framing 
of a law which would meet the views of the people 
of the state and yet leave untouched the interna- 
tional obligations of the United States. Each house 
of the legislature, by resolution, replied that while 
it respectfully maintained the right of the legislature 
of the state of California to legislate on the subject 
of land ownership within the state, it would be 
entirely agreeable to have the secretary of state of 
the United States visit Sacramento for the purpose 
indicated in the president's telegram. 

Secretary Bryan arrived at Sacramento on April 
28th, an office in the state capitol was assigned to 
him, and he became the guest of Governor and Mrs. 
Johnson at the governor's mansion. For nearly a 
week Mr. Bryan remained at Sacramento. He urged 
the legislature to postpone action for a time and, if 
action were deemed necessary, to see that the legis- 
lation should make no distinction among aliens, and 
particularly that, whatever the form of the law, no 


The Alien Land Bill. 

words be used intended to distinguish between those 
eligible and those ineligible to citizenship. 

Governor Johnson's spirited reply to Secretary 
Bryan, at the joint session of the legislature, stated 
the position for California in words that made the 
attitude of the federal government seem weak and 
halting. Governor Johnson said: 

"Mr. Secretary, will you permit me just one word: 
the gist of the statement was intended to be that in 
enacting a law of the character that was designated 
in that statement the state of California would not 
be guilty of any discrimination whatsoever, and the 
point of inquiry, it seems to me, should be — and I 
speak perhaps academically in this regard — not: Is 
Japan offended to-day f but is Japan justly offended 
to-day? Is there anything that is contemplated by 
the legislature of the state of California that should 
give and would give necessarily to any nation, logic- 
ally looking at the problem, just offense? If there be 
justly offense given, none of us desires that shall be 
so; but if it be a fact that offense is taken where 
justly it ought not to be taken, then we are justified 
in proceeding with our legislation in the state of 
California. And the position that I maintain is, that 
by the use of the words 'ineligible to citizenship' we 
give no just cause of offense to Japan or to any other 
nation on the face of the earth that the United States 
has heretofore excluded from citizenship in the United 
States. That, I think, is after all, in its last analysis, 
the problem for you to solve, the query being not 
whether some nation be offended, but have you given 
just cause for that offense? and if we have, of 
course, like men, we should recede. If we have not 
and we are within our rights, the fact that it may 
take offense should not in any respect influence us 
in any degree whatsoever. And that we are right 

274 ' 

The Alien Land Bill. 

in our suggestion that no discrimination is made and 
that no offense can reasonably be taken is evidenced, 
first, by the naturalization law of the United States 
that declares the Japanese — not in set terms but by 
interpretation of the circuit courts of the United 
States — to be ineligible to citizenship; that is the 
ruling to-day of every state in the union where ap- 
plication has been made for citizenship by Japanese. 
It is evidenced as well that there can be no dis- 
crimination, by the constitution of the state of Cali- 
fornia adopted in 1879, where our organic law de- 
clared that the presence of those ineligible to citizen- 
ship among us is a menace to our state. It is evi- 
denced again that there is no discrimination to-day 
in the use of those terms by the fact that in our 
marriage laws we will not permit Japanese and our 
people to intermarry. It is evidenced again to-day 
by the enactment of Washington and the enactments 
of the state of Arizona, and from all of these I in- 
sist, and I insist only as I say by way of argument — 
or academically if you choose to put it so, — I insist 
that we are within our rights in enacting a statute 
of the character that is contemplated; that it is not 
discriminatory against Japan and that, in enacting 
that statute, there can be no just cause for offense 
on the part of Japan or any other nation that is ex- 
cluded from citizenship by the laws of the United 

It was evident before Secretary Bryan left Sacra- 
mento that his mission had failed, but final action 
on the bill was deferred until his departure, as a 
mark of respect to him. With very few exceptions, 
however, the democrats and the reactionary republi- 
cans, responding either to the Panama-Pacific Exposi- 
tion Company, or to Mr. Bryan, were either openly 
opposing the bill or counseling inaction. On the 


The Alien Land Bill. 

first of May the progressive leaders resolved to force 
the bill to a vote. Senator Curtin, who had been 
chairman of the committee on platform which, at the 
democratic state convention held in September, 1912, 
declared so emphatically for the "passage of a bill 
that will prevent any alien not eligible to citizenship 
from owning land in the state of California/' led the 
opposition to the bill. Senator Curtin offered a joint 
resolution reciting that the president had earnestly 
advised the legislature that the passage of any bill 
discriminating against any particular nation or na- 
tions would embarrass the federal government, and 
that the people should defer to the president's wishes, 
and resolving that "this legislature will not at this 
session pass the bills advised against." 

Curtin's resolution was defeated in the senate by a 
vote of 10 to 26. This was the senate test vote on 
the anti-alien legislation. The senators who voted in 
favor of the resolution for delay were: Caminetti 
(dem.), Campbell (dem.), Cartwright (dem.), Cohn 
(dem.), Curtin (dem.), Jones (rep.), Owens (dem.), 
Sanford (dem.), Shanahan (dem.), and Wright 
(rep.). A final vote on the bill was then taken in 
the senate, and only two senators, Cartwright and 
Wright, voted against it. 

In the assembly, Shearer (dem.) introduced a reso- 
lution calling for delay, identical with the resolution 
which had been introduced in the senate by Curtin. 
The Shearer resolution was defeated by a vote of 49 
to 21. The twenty-one members who voted in favor 
of taking no action for that session, that being the 


The Alien Land Bill. 

test vote in the assembly, were Beck (dem.), Bow- 
man (rep.), Dower (dem.), Finnegan (dem.), Gates 
(rep.), Griffin (dem.), Guiberson (dem.), Guill 
(dem.), Hinkle (rep.), Killingsworth (dem.), Mur- 
ray (rep.), Palmer (dem.), Shearer (dem.), Simp- 
son (dem.), Slater (dem.), Weldon (dem.), Wood- 
ley (rep.), Willey (rep.). 

When the final vote on the bill was taken the 
only three members of the assembly who voted 
against it were Gates, Guiberson and Woodley. 

After the legislature had adjourned, and before 
Governor Johnson had signed the bill, the governor 
received a communication from Secretary Bryan re- 
questing that he veto the measure. Governor John- 
son replied to this communication in a letter which 
fully and cogently states the whole case for Cali- 
fornia : 

"Your very courteous telegram relating to the alien 
land bill reached me late Sunday night. I take it 
from your conversations and your request made to 
me to withhold executive action until opportunity 
was accorded for the presentation of suggestions 
from the federal government, that your telegram 
embodies what it was your wish and the wish of 
the president to say to us before final action. 

"In this response it is my design most respectfully 
to present the situation from our standpoint, and 
the views that actuated our legislature in passing the 
bill, and that impel me to sanction it. 

"For many years, a very grave problem, little un- 
derstood in the east, has confronted California; a 
problem the seriousness of which has been recog- 
nized by statesmen in our nation, and has been 
viewed with apprehension by the people of this state. 


The Alien Land Bill. 

When the present constitution of California was 
adopted more than thirty years ago, it contained the 
following declaration : 'The presence of foreigners 
ineligible to become citizens of the United States is 
declared to be dangerous to the well-being of the 
state, and the legislature shall discourage their im- 
migration by all means within its power/ 

"Of late years, our problem from another angle 
has become acute, and the agitation has been con- 
tinuous in the last decade in reference to our agri- 
cultural lands, until finally affirmative action in an 
attempted solution became imperative. This at- 
tempted solution is found in the action of our legis- 
lature in the passage of an alien land bill. In the 
phraseology of this bill, in those whom it affects, 
in its scope and in its purpose, we believe we are 
within our legal and our moral right, and that we 
are doing only what is imperatively demanded for 
the protection and preservation of our state. In 
this enactment we have kept ever in mind our 
national good faith as evidenced by existing treaties, 
and our desire and anxiety have been to act only in 
such fashion as would commend us to our sister states 
and would justify us to our fellow countrymen. 

"The objections to our bill are based, first, upon 
the treaty obligations of the nation; and, secondly, 
upon the assertion that our act is offensive and dis- 
criminatory. The protest to our measure, as your 
telegram states, comes from the representative of 
Japan. The bill that is now before me, as you know, 
provides substantially in its first section that all 
aliens eligible to citizenship under the laws of the 
United States may acquire real property in the same 
manner as citizens of the United States, and the 
second section provides that all aliens other than 
those mentioned in the first section, may acquire real 
property in the manner and to the extent and for 


The Alien Land Bill. 

the purposes prescribed by any treaty now existing 
between the government of the United States and the 
nation or country of which such aliens are citizens 
or subjects, and may, in addition, lease for a period 
of three years lands for agricultural purposes. Thus, 
we have made existing treaties a part of our law, 
and thus have we preserved every right that any 
foreign nation, by international contract, has insisted 
upon preserving with our national government. The 
treaty of 1911 with Japan, in reference to the citizens 
and subjects of each country, provides that they shall 
have liberty to own, or lease, or occupy houses, 
manufactories, warehouses and shops ; to employ 
agents of their choice; to lease land for residential 
and commercial purposes and generally to do any- 
thing incident to or necessary for trade upon the 
same terms as native citizens or subjects, submitting 
themselves to the laws and regulations there estab- 
lished. We assume that the right of Japanese to 
own real property for the purposes described is abso- 
lute in our state, and we seek to deal only with our 
agricultural lands. We embody the treaty in our law 
and we add to it permission to lease our agricultural 
lands, for the period of three years. 

"Where such extraordinary care has been exercised 
to preserve honor and good faith, in the very words 
of the contract made by the protesting nation with 
our own, and to do more by authorizing leases of 
agricultural lands, it would seem that we ought not 
to be open to any accusation of violation of treaty 
rights, or desire to entrench upon that which belongs 
alone to the national government, or which might 
become a matter of international policy. 

"By the law adopted we offer no offense; we make 
no discrimination. The offense and discrimination are 
contained, it is claimed, in the use of the words 
'eligible to citizenship,' and in making a distinction 


The Alien Land Bill. 

between those who are eligible to citizenship and 
those who are not. We do not mention the Japanese 
or any particular race. The constitution of California 
in 1879 made its distinction, and there never has been 
protest or objection. The naturalization laws of the 
United States, long since, without demur from any 
nation, determined who were and who were not 
eligible to citizenship. If invidious discriminations 
ever were made in this regard, the United States 
made it when the United States declared who were 
and who were not eligible to citizenship, and when 
we but follow and depend upon the statutes of the 
United States, and their determination as to eligibility 
to citizenship, we cannot be accused of indulging in 
invidious discrimination. May I venture to call to 
your attention the immigration law now pending in 
congress, which passed both houses of the last con- 
gress, where apparently certain classes, who shall be 
excluded from our country are described as 'persons 
who cannot become eligible under existing laws to 
become citizens of the United States.' 

"At this very moment, the national legislature, 
without protest or objection — indeed it is published 
in California by express consent — is using the terms 
that are claimed in California's law to be offensive 
and discriminatory. 

"At least three states in the union have, in the 
past, enacted laws similar to the contemplated law 
of California, and the enactments of those other 
states have been without objection or protest. That 
the protest is now made in respect to California but 
emphasizes the acuteness of the problem confronting 
California, and demonstrates that California is dif- 
ferently viewed than other states of the union, and 
that if discrimination exists it is discrimination against 
California. We insist that justly no offense can be 
taken by any nation to this law, and more particu- 


The Alien Land Bill. 

larly does this seem to us clear in the instance of 
a nation like Japan, that by its own law, prevents 
acquisition of land by aliens. It is most respectfully 
submitted that, after all, the question is not whether 
any offense has been taken, but whether justly it 
should be taken. I voice, I think, the sentiment of 
the majority of the legislature of this state, when I 
say that if it had been believed that offense could be 
justly taken by any nation to the proposed law, that 
law would not have been enacted. 

"We of California believe firmly that in our legis- 
lative dealings with this alien land question, we have 
violated absolutely no treaty rights ; we have shown 
no shadow of discrimination ; we have given to no 
nation the right to be justified in taking offense. So 
believing — with a strong reliance on the justice and 
the righteousness of our cause, and with due deference 
and courtesy and with proper consideration for the 
feelings and the views of others — we had hoped the 
authorities at Washington would have seen the ques- 
tion as we in this state have been forced to see it — 
as we must see it or be blind. 

"And so, with all respect and courtesy, the state of 
California feels it its bounden duty to its citizens to 
do that which the interests of its people demand ; 
that which the conscience of its people approve ; that 
which violates no treaty rights ; that which presents 
no discrimination, and that which can give no just 
cause for offense. 

"You have suggested to me delay, but this question 
was very earnestly and fully presented by you to our 
legislature, and the legislature determined to proceed. 
My province is to approve or disapprove the law as 
presented. Our people, as represented in the legisla- 
ture, have overwhelmingly expressed their desire for 
the present alien land bill. The vote in the senate 
was 35 to 2, and in the assembly 72 to 3. With such 


The Alien Land Bill. 

unanimity of opinion, even did I hold other views, I 
would feel it my plain duty to sign the bill, unless 
some absolutely controlling necessity demanded con- 
trary action. Apparently no such controlling necessity 

"It is with the highest respect for yourself and the 
president that I feel my duty to my state compels me 
to approve the action of the legislature. ,, 



Few that heard the inaugural address of Governor 
Hiram W. Johnson delivered before the two houses 
of the legislature on Tuesday, January 3, 1911, will 
ever forget the occasion. It was a memorable event 
in the history of California; the change from the 
old order to the new ; the formal ending of the 
machine government of California, and the beginning 
of actual government by the people. 

The senate and the assembly, sitting in joint ses- 
sion, seemed to feel an almost religious inspiration 
under the spell of the occasion. Every person present 
felt that the moment was historic ; that the governor's 
speech marked an epoch in the annals of California. 
The governor's eloquence, showing the emotion which 
he felt, revealed on that first day the social vision 
which has enlightened all the acts of the administra- 
tion, and enumerated, one by one, that great program 
of administrative and social reform which has been 
carried out, item by item, without faltering, and 
without compromise. 

Not only did the governor, in that address, outline 
the work ahead, but he predicted with precision the 
difficulties that would arise, the criticism that would 


Famous Inaugural Address. 

be engendered, the treason that would be encoun- 
tered, the lukewarm support that would fall away as 
the administration proved its earnestness in the work, 
and all the troubles and anxieties that would arise 
to harass the men who had undertaken to bring about 
the new order in the state government. 

It is refreshing and stimulating, in the retrospect, 
to reread the speech that made so distinct an im- 
pression upon the people on that historic day. For 
that reason the address is reprinted in this book. 


To the senate and assembly of the state of California: 
In the political struggle from which we have just 
emerged the issue was so sharply defined and so 
thoroughly understood that it may be superfluous 
for me to indicate the policy which in the ensuing 
four years will control the executive department of 
the state of California. The electorate has rendered 
its decision, a decision conclusive upon all its rep- 
resentatives ; but while we know the sort of govern- 
ment demanded and decreed by the people, it may not 
be amiss to suggest the means by which that kind of 
administration may be attained and continued. "Suc- 
cessful and permanent government must rest primarily 
on recognition of the rights of men and the absolute 
sovereignty of the people. Upon these principles is 
based the superstructure of our republic. Their main- 
tenance and perpetuation measure the life of the re- 
public. " It was upon this theory that we undertook 
originally to go to the people; it was this theory that 
was adopted by the people; it is upon this theory, so 

Famous Inaugural Address. 

far as your executive is concerned, that this govern- 
ment shall be henceforth conducted. The problem 
first presented to us, therefore, is how best can the 
government be made responsive to the people alone? 
Matters of material prosperity and advancement, con- 
servation of resources, development of that which lies 
within our borders, are easy of solution when once 
the primal question of the people's rule shall have 
been determined. In some form or other nearly every 
governmental problem that involves the health, the 
happiness, or the prosperity of the state has arisen, 
because some private interest has intervened or has 
sought for its own gain to exploit either the resources 
or the politics of the state. I take it, therefore, that 
the first duty that is mine to perform is to eliminate 
every interest from the government, and to make the 
public service of the state responsive solely to the 
people. The state is entitled to the highest efficiency 
in our public service, and that efficiency I shall en- 
deavor at all times to give. It is obvious that the 
requisite degree of efficiency can not be attained 
where any public servant divides his allegiance be- 
tween the public service and a private interest. Where 
under our political system, therefore, there exists any 
appointee of the governor who is representing a po- 
litical machine or a corporation that has been de- 
voting itself in part to our politics, that appointee 
will be replaced by an official who will devote himself 
exclusively and solely to the service of the state. 
In this fashion, so far as it can be accomplished by 
the executive, the government of California shall be 
made a government for the people. If there are in 


Famous Inaugural Address. 

existence now any appointees who represent the sys- 
tem of politics which has been in vogue in this state 
for many years and who have divided their allegiance 
between the state and a private interest of any sort, 
or if there be in existence any commission of like 
character, and I can not alone deal with either, then 
I shall look to the legislature to aid me in my design 
to eliminate special interests from the government 
and to require from our officials the highest ef- 
ficiency and an undivided allegiance; and I shall ex- 
pect such legislative action to be taken as may be 
necessary to accomplish the desired result. 

In pursuing this policy, so long as we deal only 
with the ward-heeler who holds a petty official posi- 
tion as a reward for political service, or with the 
weak and vacillating small politician, we will have 
the support and indeed the commendation of all the 
people and all the press ; but as we go a little higher, 
with firm resolve and absolute determination, we will 
begin to meet with opposition here and there to our 
plan, and various arguments, apparently put forth in 
good faith for the retention of this official or that, 
will make their appearance; and finally when we 
reach, if we do, some representative, not only of the 
former political master of this state, the Southern 
Pacific Company, but an apostle of "big business" as 
well (that business that believes all government is a 
mere thing for exploitation and private gain), a storm 
of indignation will meet us from all of those who 
have been parties to or partisans of the political sys- 
tem that has obtained in the past ; and particularly 
that portion of the public press which is responsive 

Famous Inaugural Address. 

to private interest and believes that private interest 
should control our government, will, in mock indig- 
nation and pretended horror, cry out against the 
desecration of the public service and the awful politics 
which would permit the people to rule. Much, doubt- 
less, will be said of destructiveness, of abuse of power, 
of anarchistic tendencies and the like, and of the 
astounding and incomparable fitness of him who rep- 
resents "big business'' to represent us all. And in 
the end it may be that the very plan, simple, and 
direct, to which we have set ourselves in this admin- 
istration will be wholly distorted and will be under- 
stood only by those who, with singleness of purpose, 
are working for a return of popular government in 

It matters not how powerful the individual may be 
who is in the service of the state, nor how much 
wealth and influence there may be behind him, nor 
how strenuously he may be supported by "big busi- 
ness" and by all that has been heretofore powerful 
and omnipotent in our political life, if he be the 
representative of Southern Pacific politics, or if he 
be one of that class who divides his allegiance to 
the state with a private interest and thus impairs his 
efficiency, I shall attack him the more readily because 
of his power and his influence and the wealth behind 
him, and I shall strive in respect to such a one in 
exactly the same way as with his weaker and less 
powerful accomplices. I prefer, as less dangerous 
to society, the political thug of the water front to the 
smugly respectable individual in broadcloth of pre- 


Famous Inaugural Address. 

tended respectability who from ambush employs^ and 
uses that thug for his selfish political gain. 

In the consummation of our design at last to have 
the people rule, we shall go forward, without malice 
or hatred, not in animosity or personal hostility, but 
calmly, coolly, pertinaciously, unswervingly and with 
absolute determination, until the public service reflects 
only the public good and represents alone the people. 


When, with your assistance, California's govern- 
ment shall be composed only of those who' recognize 
one sovereign and master, the people, then is pre- 
sented to us the question of, how best can we arm 
the people to protect themselves hereafter? If we 
can give to the people the means by which they may 
accomplish such other reforms as they desire, the 
means as well by which they may prevent the misuse 
of the power temporarily centralized in the legis- 
lature and an admonitory and precautionary measure 
w T hich will ever be present before weak officials, and 
the existence of which will prevent the necessity for 
its use, then all that lies in our power will have been 
done in the direction of safeguarding the future and 
for the perpetuation of the theory upon which we 
ourselves shall conduct this government. This means 
for accomplishing other reforms has been designated 
the "initiative and the referendum," and the pre- 
cautionary measure by which a recalcitrant official can 
be removed is designated the "recall." And while I 
do not by any means believe the initiative, the refer- 
endum, and the recall are the panacea for all our 


Famous Inaugural Address. 

political ills, yet they do give to the electorate the 
power of action when desired, and they do place in 
the hands of the people the means by which they may 
protect themselves. I recommend to you, therefore, 
and I most strongly urge, that the first step in our 
design to preserve and perpetuate popular govern- 
ment shall be the adoption of the initiative, the refer- 
endum, and the recall. I recognize that this must 
be accomplished, so far as the state is concerned, 
by constitutional amendment. But I hope that at the 
earliest possible date the amendments may be sub- 
mitted to the people, and that you take the steps 
necessary for that purpose. I will not here go into 
detail as to the proposed measures. I have collected 
what I know many of your members have — the vari- 
ous constitutional amendments now in force in dif- 
ferent states — and at a future time, if desired, the 
detail to be applied in this state may be taken ufh 
Suffice it to say, so far as the recall is concerned, did 
the solution of the matter rest with me, I would apply 
it to every official. I commend to you the proposition 
that, after all, the initiative and the referendum de- 
pend on our confidence in the people and in their 
ability to govern. The opponents of direct legisla- 
tion and the recall, however they may phrase their 
opposition, in reality believe the people can not be 
trusted. On the other hand, those of us who espouse 
these measures do so because of our deep-rooted be- 
lief in popular government, and not only in the right 
of the people to govern, but in their ability to govern ; 
and this leads us logically to the belief that if the 
people have the right, the ability, and the intelligence 
™ 289 

Famous Inaugural Address. 

to elect, they have as well the right, ability, and 
intelligence to reject or to recall; and this applies 
with equal force to an administrative or a judicial 
officer. I suggest, therefore, that if you believe in 
the recall, and if in your wisdom you desire its adop- 
tion by the people, you make no exception in its ap- 
plication. It has been suggested that by immediate 
legislation you can make the recall applicable to 
counties without the necessity of constitutional amend- 
ment. If this be so, and if you believe in the adoption 
of this particular measure, there is no reason why 
the legislature should not at once give to the counties 
of the state the right which we expect to accord to 
the whole state by virtue of constitutional amendment. 
Were we to do nothing else during our terms of 
office than to require and compel an undivided al- 
legiance to the state from all its servants, and then to 
place in the hands of the people the means by which 
they could continue that allegiance, with the power to 
legislate for themselves when they desired, we would 
have thus accomplished perhaps the greatest service 
that could be rendered our state. With public servants 
whose sole thought is the good of the state the pros- 
perity of the state is assured, exaction and extortion 
from the people will be at an end, in every material 
aspect advancement will be ours, development and 
progress will follow as a matter of course, and 
popular government will be perpetuated. 


For many years in the past, shippers, and those 
generally dealing with the Southern Pacific Company, 

Famous Inaugural Address. 

have been demanding protection against the rates 
fixed by that corporation. The demand has been an- 
swered by the corporation by the simple expedient 
of taking over the government of the state; and in- 
stead of regulation of the railroads, as the framers 
of the new constitution fondly hoped, the railroad has 
regulated the state. 

To Californians it is quite unnecessary to recall the 
motives that actuated the framers of the new consti- 
tution when article xn was adopted. It was thought 
that the railroad commission thereby created would 
be the bulwark between the people and the exactions 
and extortions and discriminations of the transporta- 
tion companies. That the scheme then adopted has 
not proved effective has become only too plain. That 
this arose because of the individuals constituting the 
railroad commission on the part of the Southern Pa- 
cific Company not only to elect its own railroad 
commission, but also w r herever those commissioners 
made any attempt, however feeble, to act, to arrest 
the powers of the commission, and to have those 
powers circumscribed within the narrowest limits. 
All of us who recall the adoption of the new consti- 
tution will remember that we then supposed the most 
plenary powers were conferred upon the commis- 
sion. It has been gravely asserted of late, however, 
by those representing the railroad company, and they 
insist that in the decisions of our courts there is 
foundation for the assertion, that the constitution 
does not give the commission power to fix absolute 
rates. In my opinion this power is conferred upon 
the commission, and in this I am upheld by the at- 


Famous Inaugural Address. 

torney-general of the state, and by the very able 
and eminent attorneys who represent the various 
traffic associations. 

The people are indeed fortunate now in having a 
railroad commission of ability, integrity, energy, and 
courage. I suggest to you, and I recommend, that 
you give to the commission the amplest power that 
can be conferred upon it. The president of the rail- 
road commission, Mr. John M. Eshelman, in con- 
junction with Attorney-General Webb, Senator Stet- 
son, and others, in all of whom we have the highest 
confidence, has been at work preparing a bill which 
shall meet the requirements of the case, and I com- 
mend to your particular attention this instrument. 

I would suggest that an appropriation of at least 
$75,000 be made for the use of the commission that 
it may, by careful hearing and the taking of evidence, 
determine the physical value of the transportation- 
companies in the state of California, and that the 
commission may have the power and the means to 
determine this physical value justly and fairly, and 
thereafter ascertain the value of improvements, bet- 
terments and the like, and upon the values thus de- 
termined may fix the railroad rates within the state 
of California. 

It is asserted that some ambiguity exists in that 
portion of the language of section 22 of article xn 
of the constitution, which fixes the penalty when any 
railroad company shall fail or refuse to conform to 
rates established by the commission or shall charge 
rates in excess thereof, and it is claimed that the use 
of the last phrase "or shall charge rates in excess 


Famous Inaugural Address. 

thereof" excludes the power to punish discrimination 
by the railroad companies. The rational construction 
of the language used can lead to no such conclusion ; 
but if you believe there is any ambiguity in the con- 
stitutional provision as it now exists, or any doubt 
of the power conferred by it upon the railroad com- 
mission, I would suggest that this matter be remedied 
by a constitutional amendment. In no event, how- 
ever, should action in reference to needed legislation 
and that herein suggested be deferred. It is not un- 
likely that the ingenuity of those who represent the 
railroad companies will pretend, and find some advo- 
cates in this, that all legislative action should await 
the amendment of the constitution. I trust that you 
will not permit this specious plea to prevail, but that 
you will at once accord the power to the commission 
that is designed by the bill referred to. 

I beg of you not to permit the bogie man of the 
railroad companies, "unconstitutionality," to deter you 
from enacting the legislation suggested, if you be- 
lieve that legislation to be necessary ; and I trust that 
none of us will be terrified by the threat of resort to 
the courts that follows the instant a railroad extor- 
tion is resented or attempted to be remedied. Let 
us do our full duty, now that at last we have a rail- 
road commission that will do its full duty, and let 
us give this commission all the power and aid and 
resources it requires ; and if thereafter legitimate 
work done within the law and the constitution shall 
be nullified, let the consequences rest with the nulli- 
fying power. 


Famous Inaugural Address. 


California took a long step toward popular gov- 
ernment when the direct primary law was enacted. 
The first experiment under the direct primary law 
has been made, and despite the predictions of the 
cynical and the critical, the law has been a success 
and has come to stay. It may, however, be improved 
in many respects, and so recent has been the dis- 
cussion of the minor imperfections of the act that 
they are familiar to us all; and I think the desire is 
general to remedy those defects. When the law shall 
have been amended and its imperfections corrected, 
and when it shall have been made less difficult for 
one to become a candidate for public office (and this 
should be one of the designs of amendment, I think), 
the important question of dealing with the candidacy 
for United States senator remains. Of course, the 
constitution of the United States requires that United 
States senators shall be elected by state legislatures. 
Notwithstanding the popular demand expressed now 
for a quarter of a century that United States senators 
should be elected by direct vote of the people, we 
have been unable to amend the federal constitution; 
but the people in more than half the states are striving 
to effect the same result by indirection. The result 
is that our people, in common with those of most of 
the states, are seeking to have the people themselves 
elect United States senators. I do not think it 
is extravagant to say that nine electors out of ten 
in California desire the electorate directly to choose 
United States senators, and if they possessed the 
power they would remove the selection wholly from 


Famous Inaugural Address. 

the legislature. The present primary law in its par- 
tisan features does not attain the desired result. And 
the present law, in its provision relating to United 
States senators, is at variance with the wishes of an 
overwhelming majority of our people. Some of those 
who desire direct election may wish a selection made 
by parties, while others would eliminate all partisan 
features in such an election ; yet all wish a selection 
by the whole state by plurality; and the present pro- 
visions of the primary law meet with the approval 
of none who really wish the election of United 
States senator by direct vote. I suggest to you, 
therefore, that the present law be amended so that 
there be a state-wide advisory vote upon United 
States senator; and the logical result of a desire to 
elect United States senators by direct vote of the 
people is that that election shall be of any person 
who may be a candidate, no matter what party he 
may be affiliated with. For that reason I favor the 
Oregon plan, as it is termed, whereby the candidate 
for this office as for any other office may be voted 
for, and by which the candidate receiving the highest 
number of votes may be ultimately selected. If in 
your wisdom you believe we should not go to the 
full extent expressed in my views, then, in any 
event, the primary law should make the vote for 
United States senator state-wide so that the vote 
of the whole state, irrespective of districts, shall 


The most advanced thought in our nation has 
reached the conclusion that we can best avoid 


Famous Inaugural Address. 

blind voting and best obtain the discrimination of 
the electorate by a short ballot. A very well 
known editor in our state, during a recent lecture 
at Stanford university, challenged the faculty of 
that great institution to produce a single man who 
had cast an intelligent vote for the office of state 
treasurer, and none was produced. Fortunately 
our state treasurer is the highest type of citizen 
and official. The reason the challenge could not 
be met was that, in the hurry of our existence and 
in the engrossing importance of the contests for 
one or two offices, we cannot or do not inform 
ourselves sufficiently regarding the candidates for 
minor offices. Again, we elect some officials whose 
duties are merely clerical or ministerial and whose 
qualifications naturally can not be well understood. 
Of course it is undesirable, and indeed detrimental, 
that we should elect officials of whom we know 
nothing and concerning whom the electorate can 
not learn and cannot discriminate. It is equally 
undesirable that those occupying merely clerical 
positions should be voted for by the entire elec- 
torate of the state. The result of a long ballot is 
that often candidates for minor offices are elected 
who are unfit or unsatisfactory. This conclusion, 
I think, has been reached by students and the far- 
seeing in every state in the union. If we can 
remedy this condition it is our duty to do so, and 
it is plain that the remedy is by limiting the 
elective list of offices to those that are naturally 
conspicuous. One familiar with the subject recent- 
ly said: "The little offices must either go off the 

Famous Inaugural Address. 

ballot and be appointed, no matter how awk- 
wardly, or they must be increased in real public 
importance by added powers until they rise into 
such eminence as to be visible to all the people. 
. . . That candidates should be conspicuous is 
vital. The people must be able to see what they 
are doing; they must know the candidates, other- 
wise they are not in control of the situation but 
are only going through the motions of controlling." 
The supreme court of the state has asked that 
the clerk of the supreme court, now elective, shall 
be made appointive. It is eminently just that this 
should be so. It is quite absurd that the people 
of an entire state should be called upon to vote 
for a clerk of the supreme court. The office of 
state printer is merely administrative. Presuma- 
bly an expert printer is selected to fill this position, 
and in the selection of an expert no reason at all 
exists for the entire electorate selecting that par- 
ticular expert. The surveyor-general likewise per- 
forms merely ministerial duties, presumably is only 
an expert, and his selection should be by appoint- 
ment rather than election. The superintendent of 
public instruction, an expert educator, is in the 
same category. The government of the United 
States is conducted with all of its departments 
with only two elective officers, the president and 
vice-president. The president has surrounding him 
a cabinet, the members of which perform all of the 
duties that are ministerial in character. The treas- 
urer of the state of California performs duties akin 
to those of the secretary of the treasury of the 


Famous Inaugural Address. 

United States. He does nothing initiative in char- 
acter, and his office could better be filled by- 
appointment than election. The secretary of state 
is in reality merely the head clerk of the state, and 
as a clerk of the supreme court may be better se- 
lected by the supreme court itself, so the secretary 
of state, as chief clerk of the state, may be better 
selected by the head of the state. The attorney- 
general could in like fashion be appointed, and if 
appointed his office could be made the general 
office of all legal departments of the state. Every 
attorneyship of the state that now exists, of com- 
missions, and boards, and officials, could be put 
under his control, and a general scheme of state 
legal department could thus be successfully evolved 
— a department economical, efficient, and perma- 
nent, and even non-partisan in its character if 

Were these various officials appointed by the gov- 
ernor, the chief officer of the state could surround 
himself with a cabinet like the cabinet of the chief 
executive of the nation, and a more compact, per- 
haps more centralized and possibly a more efficient 
government, established. I would leave the controller 
an elective officer because, theoretically at least, the 
controller is a check upon the other officials of the 
state, and thus should be independent. Were these 
suggestions carried out, the state ballot would consist 
of a governor, lieutenant-governor, controller, mem- 
bers of the judiciary, and members of the legislature. 
Of course, any change we might make as herein sug- 


Famous Inaugural Address. 

gested could not operate upon officials now in office 
or during any of our terms. 

I recognize that the reform here suggested is rad- 
ical and advanced, but I commend it to your careful 


All of the parties in the state of California are 
committed to the policy of restoring the Australian 
ballot to its original form ; and, therefore, I merely 
call to your attention that restoration as one of the 
duties that devolves upon us because of party pledges. 


And the return of the Australian ballot to the form 
which first we adopted in this state provides an easy 
mode for the redemption of the promises that have 
been made in respect to non-partisan judiciary. With 
the party circle eliminated, and with the names of 
the candidates for office printed immediately under 
the designation of the office, when upon the ballot 
the title of the judiciary is reached, the names of all 
the candidates may be printed without any party 
designation following those names ; and in this fashion 
all of the candidates for judicial position will be pre- 
sented to the people with nothing to indicate the 
political parties with which they have been affiliated. 


One of the most vexatious subjects with which 
legislatures have to deal is respecting classification, 
salaries, etc., of the various counties. The astonish- 
ing amount of time occupied by our legislature in 


Famous Inaugural Address. 

county government bills can only be understood by 
those who have been familiar with legislative work. 
I quote from a report by Controller Nye upon the 

"The first legislature after the adoption of the con- 
stitution commenced by making ten classes of coun- 
ties, which number soon increased to more than forty, 
and at the present time there are fifty-eight classes, 
exactly equaling the number of counties. 

"If there were no other evidence of the folly of 
trying to legislate on county salaries by general laws, 
this would be conclusive. But the change of these 
general laws to meet the supposed needs of different 
counties has been incessant. In the legislative ses- 
sion of 1905 there were forty-five amendments to the 
salary schedules of as many counties ; in 1907 there 
were fifty-seven such amendments, one for every 
county then existing, and in 1909 there were fifty. 

"So great are the evils of this form of legislation 
that we deem the only permanent remedy for them to 
be the submission and adoption of an amendment 
which will permit each county, proceeding along the 
same general lines as those prescribed for cities, to 
draft its own county government act, subject to ratifi- 
cation by the legislature. The amendment should 
enumerate the subjects which may be embraced in 
these county government acts, or county charters, so 
framed, and they should include the number and 
compensation of officers, the granting or withholding 
of fees, the determination whether the county board 
of supervisors shall be elected by districts or at large, 
also the determination whether other county officers 
shall be elected or appointed, and such other similar 
matters of local concern as will not interfere with 
the operation of the general plan of state govern- 

I quite agree with the views expressed by our 

Famous Inaugural Address. 

controller, and adopt his recommendation. It is but 
just and proper that counties should rule themselves 
just as cities do, and if this be accomplished we will 
have succeeded in taking from the legislature perhaps 
a most vexatious subject, and one with which of 
necessity it oftentimes can not deal with intelligence, 
and we will have saved to the legislature and the 
state the immense amount of time that is now ex- 
pended by the legislature upon the subject. Of 
course, care must be exercised in any change that 
practical uniformity is preserved. 


In the first subject with which I have dealt, I de- 
fined clearly my attitude in regard to public service. 
Too often it has occurred that appointments to the 
public service have been made solely because of polit- 
ical affiliations or as a reward for political service. 
It is a design of the present administration to put in 
force the merit system, and it is our hope to continue 
that system by virtue of a civil service enactment. 
The committee recently appointed by the republican 
state central committee presented an act, covering the 
subject, which I commend to you. 


In the abstract all agree upon the policy of con- 
servation. It is only when we deal with conservation 
in the concrete that we find opposition to the enforce- 
ment of the doctrine enunciated originally by Gifford 
Pinchot and Theodore Roosevelt. Conservation 
means development, but development and preserva- 
tion; and it would seem that no argument should be 


Famous Inaugural Address. 

required on the question of preserving, so far as we 
may, for all of the people, those things which natur- 
ally belong to all. The great natural wealth of water 
in this state has been permitted, under our existing 
laws and lack of system, to be misappropriated and 
to be held to the great disadvantage of its economical 
development. The present laws in this respect should 
be amended. If it can be demonstrated that claims 
are wrongfully or illegally held, those claims should 
revert to the state. A rational and equitable code 
and method of procedure for water conservation and 
development should be adopted. 


Humanity requires that we should provide a re- 
formatory for first offenders. All of us are agreed 
upon this matter, and your wisdom will determine the 
best mode of its consummation. 

employers' liability law. 

Upon the righteousness of an employers' liability 
law, no more apt expression can be found than that 
of ex-President Roosevelt on last labor day. He 
said : 

"In what is called 'employers' liability' legislation 
other industrial countries have accepted the principle 
that the industry must bear the monetary burden of 
its human sacrifices, and that the employee who is 
injured shall have a fixed and definite sum. The 
United States still proceeds on an outworn and 
curiously improper principles, in accordance with 
which it has too often been held by the courts that 
the frightful burden of the accident shall be borne 
in its entirety by the very person least able to bear 


Famous Inaugural Address. 

it. Fortunately, in a number of states — in Wiscon- 
sin and in New York, for instance — these defects in 
our industrial life are either being remedied or else 
are being made a subject of intelligent study, with a 
view to their remedy." 

In this state all parties stand committed to a just 
and adequate law whereby the risk of the employment 
shall be placed not upon the employee alone, but upon 
the employment itself. Some new legal questions 
will be required to be solved in this connection, and 
the fellow servant rule now in vogue in this state will 
probably be abrogated and the doctrine of contribu- 
tory negligence abridged. It is hoped that those in 
our state who have given most study to this subject 
will soon present to you a comprehensive bill, and 
when this shall have been done the matter will again 
be made a subject of communication by me. 

I have purposely refrained today from indulging in 
panegyrics upon the beauty, grandeur, wealth, and 
prosperity of our state; or from solemnly declaring 
that we will foster industries, and aid in all that is 
material. It goes without saying that, whatever 
political or other differences may exist among our 
citizens, all are proud of California, its unbounded 
resources, its unsurpassed scenic grandeur, its climatic 
conditions that compel the wondering admiration of 
the world; and all will devotedly lend their aid to 
the proper development of the state, to the protection 
and preservation of that which our citizens have 
acquired, and that which industrially is in our midst. 
Ours of course is a glorious destiny, to the promotion 
and consummation of which we look forward with 
pride and affection, and to which we pledge our 


Famous Inaugural Address. 

highest endeavor. Hand in hand with that prosperity 
and material development that we foster, and that will 
be ours practically in any event, goes political devel- 
opment. The hope of governmental accomplishment 
for progress and purity politically is with us in this 
new era. This hope and wish for accomplishment 
for the supremacy of the right and its maintenance, I 
believe to be with every member of the legislature. 
It is in no partisan spirit that I have addressed you ; 
it is in no partisan spirit that I appeal to you for aid. 
Democrats and republicans alike are citizens, and 
equal patriotism is in each. Your aid, your comfort, 
your highest resolve and endeavor, I bespeak, not as 
republicans or democrats, but as representatives of 
all the people of all classes and political affiliations, 
as patriots indeed, for the advancement and progress 
and righteousness and uplift of California. 

And may God in his mercy grant us the strength 
and the courage to do right! 




The question is frequently asked why the Califor- 
nia progressives, after having obtained possession of 
the republican party, left the party and established 
in California the progressive party. The answer is 
to be found, of courses, in the national situation. 
The progressive republicans of the United States 
undertook to do in Chicago in 1912 what had been 
done in California, but were prevented from doing 
so by a demonstration of power on the part of the 
national organization which made it certain that the 
effort was permanently hopeless. At that convention 
the power of the voters and their representatives on 
the one side and that of the organization and its 
power on the other were both exercised to the full 
limit and on that test the organization prevailed over 
the voters. It was demonstrated that the republican 
party could not be made progressive merely by the 
conversion of the majority of its members to pro- 
gressive principles. The party was so organized that 
its members could not control it, and that organiza- 
tion was deliberately perpetuated for the sake of pre- 
venting them from controlling it in 1916. Since that 
time it has been proposed to call another national 
convention to undo the wrong in party organization 
then committed, but the national republican committee 
was afraid to trust the voters of that party and re- 


IV hy Progressive Party Was Organized. 

fused to call the convention, offering instead the sub- 
terfuge of a partial and impotent pretended reform 
in the rules of the game, which was carefully kept 
within the limit of safety to the organization as 
against the voters. It was thus demonstrated that in 
1916 as in 1912 the republican party nationally could 
not be made the organ of the progressive movement 
except to the exact extent to which it might be 
permitted to go by the exact holdover organization 
controlled by Barnes and Penrose, which tied its 
hands in 1910. 

The progressive and reactionary movements in both 
the old parties had long been growing apart and it 
only needed some crisis like this to make the separa- 
tion definite and permanent. Logically there had 
been for years no reason except tradition why pro- 
pressive republicans and progressive democrats should 
belong to separate parties and should be united in 
these parties with reactionary republicans and demo- 
crats whose chief purpose in life was to prevent the 
things which the progressive desired to accomplish. 
How long ago this separation was logically due is a 
matter of difference of opinion. Ambassador James 
Bryce in his "American Commonwealth" fixes the 
date at 1879 and says that from that date until now 
both the republican and democratic parties have 
ceased to represent different divisions of the people 
on present issues. Most observers would perhaps not 
put the date so far back as that given by the philo- 
sophic Englishman, but by any estimate the separation 
which did not happen practically until 1912 had been 
due in principle for a long time before. 


Why Progressive Party Was Organized. 


When the republican and progressive parties sep- 
arated nationally the progressives of California found 
themselves in an anomolous practical position. The 
party which was called republican in California was 
actually progressive. Its national affiliations were 
with the national progressive party. But it happens 
that national parties have no legal existence, while 
state parties are not only recognized, but in many 
states, as in California, they are strictly regulated by 
law. The California primary law had made no pro- 
vision for the unprecedented situation of an entire 
party in the state being separated from its affiliations 
with the party of the same name in the United States. 
The California republican party had not changed, but 
the national republican party had left it. To be 
true to its principles the California republican party 
had to change its national affiliations and it did so. 
But the change of its name would have to be a state 
matter accomplished under the forms of state law, 
and there was no way of doing this under the pri- 
mary law, nor any time within which the primary law 
could have been changed, even by an extra session 
of the legislature. The law then provided no means 
whereby a new party could nominate its candidates 
by primary. 

As applied to presidential electors this would have 
been perhaps of relatively minor importance, since 
the personality of the electors is unimportant, and 
they could easily be selected by a committee and 
nominated by petition. This in fact actually was done 
by California progressives in their capacity as pro- 


Why Progressive Party Was Organized. 

gressives and the Roosevelt electors were nominated 
by petition as progressives. But the preservation of 
a progressive legislature was perhaps the most vital 
issue then before the people of California, and there 
was no way to nominate candidates for the legislature 
except either by primaries or by the arbitrary action 
of self-appointed committees. The latter alternative 
except as to the merely perfunctory nominations for 
electors was obviously untenable and the former al- 
ternative could not be resorted to under the law 
except by a party which had been in existence and 
cast two per cent, of the vote at the last election. 
So far as the state of California was concerned the 
progressives were such a party, registered as mem- 
bers of it, and in full possession of its organization. 
The only difficulty was that this party retained under 
the law of California the name of republican, which 
name the action of the Chicago convention had now 
given a meaning inconsistent with the actual affilia- 
tions of the California progressives. The dilemma 
was not easy to solve, but it was solved in favor of 
continuing the California organization under the 
name republican but with no pretense of affiliation 
with the national republican party as then organized. 
The inclusion of the presidential electors in this situ- 
ation was automatically brought about by the pro- 
vision of the law making the legislative nominees a 
convention for the adoption of a platform and the 
nomination of electors. Since the progressive nom- 
inees for the legislature had to be nominated as re- 
publicans or else not to be nominated by primaries 
at all, it followed that these nominees, when chosen, 


Why Progressive Party Was Organized. 

must nominate electors pledged either to the can- 
didate whom they and their constituents favored, or 
to a candidate to whom they were opposed and whose 
national nomination happened to be under the name 
republican. If there had been any evasion or con- 
cealment in regard to this the former alternative 
might have been open to criticism. But the exact 
opposite course was followed. Candidates for legisla- 
tive nomination openly announced that if chosen at 
the so-called republican primaries they would vote for 
the nomination of Roosevelt electors and the question 
was thus frankly submitted to the registered voters 
who constituted under the law the California repub- 
lican party, whether or not they wished this course 
to be taken. By an overwhelming majority these 
voters approved this course, and the legislative can- 
didates, acting as a party convention, adopted a plat- 
form openly repudiating the national republican con- 
vention and its nominee, definitely affiliating the 
California republican party with the national pro- 
gressive party and nominated electors pledged to vote 
for Theodore Roosevelt. In order to make the situa- 
tion entirely plain these electors were also nominated 
by petition as progressives and went on the ballots 
under both names, so that every voter understood 
that they represented the national progressive party 
and in California that party which the law defined by 
virtue of its former affiliations under the name re- 
publican, but which by the vote of its members and 
the declaration of its platform was now in national 
affiliations progressive. A small minority of the con- 
vention bolted and nominated Taft electors. The 


Why Progressive Party Was Organized. 

nominations made by this minority had no validity in 
law, but the nominees under the name Taft repub- 
licans, regular republicans, national republicans or 
some other clearly designating title could easily have 
been made by petition as was done by the progressive 
nominees, and the Taft electors would then have 
been on the ballot in quite unambiguous fashion. 
The reactionary managers of the Taft forces in Cali- 
fornia thought they saw a strategic advantage in 
playing the part of martyrs and therefore refused to 
take this action for the deliberate purpose of keeping 
the Taft electors off the ballot and raising the cry 
that they had been kept off by some improper pro- 

It was a very ingenious piece of tactics and was 
unquestionably in part successful. The close vote of 
California at the final election was undoubtedly due 
to the confusion of thought temporarily caused by 
this false issue artificially raised by the reactionary 
tacticians. At the following session, the legislature 
promptly changed the primary law so as to make it 
easy for any party, new or old, to make use of the 
primary system under its own name. The reason for 
the maintenance of a party in California under the 
name of republican which was actually affiliated 
nationally with the progressive and not with the 
republican party therefore ceased to exist, and at the 
first opportunity pending the opening of the present 
campaign a conference was held in San Francisco at 
which the progressive party of California as such 
was formally launched. The party is new in nothing 
but name. It is the same party, composed for the 
most part of the same voters, acting under the same 


Why Progressive Party Was Organized. 

leadership and devoted to the same principles as the 
party which under the progressive republican name 
has accomplished the historic revolution in the politi- 
cal condition of California. The only thing that is 
changed is the name and the change in name is made 
necessary by the fact that national events have 
changed the meaning of the old name. Nationally 
the word republican now refers to the reactionary 
party lead by Barnes, Penrose and Root, which has 
repudiated everything for which the California pro- 
gressive party stands. It became necessary for the 
California party to choose between remaining loyal 
to a principle by discarding a word or clinging to 
the word at the price of disloyalty to principle. For 
a party such as the progressive party of California 
there was of course but one choice to make and at 
the first opportunity after the legal machinery for 
doing so could be provided this choice was publicly 
and formally made. 



One of the highest and sincerest compliments that 
could have been paid to Governor Johnson's admin- 
istration is that both factions of the republican party 
claim credit for the accomplishments of Governor 
Johnson and the legislatures of 1911 and 1913. 

At the conference of machine republicans held at 
Santa Barbara early in February there was much 
ado about the "progr'essiveness" of the republican 
party. Although neither Governor Johnson nor the 
members of the legislature nor any member of the 
state government nor any citizen of prominence that 
had supported the great progressive measures par- 
ticipated in the Santa Barbara conference, the reac- 
tionary politicians, most of whom had actively op- 
posed the progressive policies of the Johnson ad- 
ministration, boldly insisted that the republican party, 
represented by themselves, was the agency through 
which the popular progressive measures had been 
adopted. The participants in the Santa Barbara 
conference will not support Governor Johnson for 
re-election, but they appeal to the people for support 
on the strength of what the Johnson administration 
has done. 

On the other hand, the handful of so-called "pro- 


Who Entitled to Credit. 

gressive" republicans who met at Stockton on Feb- 
ruary 7th, are a good deal less interested in pro- 
gressive measures than in breaking-up the progres- 
sive party and defeating the progressive candidates. 
They spent their time resolving that Governor 
Johnson was a tyrant who had made the people 
his "spiritual serfs" — whatever that may mean — 
and who denied the people the right and the op- 
portunity to vote in accordance with their consciences. 
This revengeful group, while declaiming about "spir- 
itual serfs," frankly bases its condemnation of Gov- 
ernor Johnson on the ground that in the exercise of 
his independent judgment he supported Theodore 
Roosevelt instead of Robert M. La Follette for the 
presidency. And, of course, the Stockton group, like 
the Santa Barbara group, claim the credit for the 
progressive measures of Governor Johnson and the 
legislatures of 1911 and 1913. 

The direct and short answer to the claims of the 
Santa Barbara faction and the Stockton faction of 
the republican party is that Governor Johnson and 
the other men who did the work for which these 
groups claim credit are in the progressive and not in 
the republican party. 

It is strange that if the republicans who met at 
Santa Barbara, and those who met at Stockton are 
so proud of the Johnson administration they should 
be opposing Governor Johnson and the members of 
his administration. 

True, Governor Johnson was elected in 1910 as a 
republican, but that was before there was a progres- 
sive party. He was nominated at a direct primary 


Who Entitled to Credit. 

by the votes of those citizens who now compose the 
progressive party and in the face of the most strenu- 
ous hostility on the part of those citizens who now, 
while denouncing him, insist that they and not he are 
responsible for the great progressive work done in 
California in the past three years. 

All the parties, and all the factions, are loudly as- 
serting their progressiveness. Why, then, should any 
man or woman hesitate to join the progressive party 
itself; the party which includes those proved pro- 
gressives who have redeemed California from ma- 
chine control and restored the government to the 
people ? 

Apparently, since all factions claim credit for the 
progressive measures of the Johnson administration 
those measures must have pleased the people. 

To whom, however, should the people commit the 
preservation and perpetuation of those progressive 
measures? To the reactionaries who met at Santa 
Barbara under the republican name and endorsed 
those measures which they had formerly opposed? 
To the "progressive" republicans who met at Stock- 
ton and denounced Governor Johnson, and whose 
main purpose is to destroy the progressive party in 
California? Or to the militant group of men and 
women headed by Governor Johnson organized as 
the progressive party, who have sponsored and en- 
forced those progressive measures from the begin- 




Let us state three broad principles from which 
every line and paragraph of the progressive party 
platform flows, and illustrate each principle by an 
example of a typical policy and measure which the 
progressive party will carry out when the people give 
it power. 

First — The progressive party stands for John Mar- 
shall's principle of nationality, and therefore for the 
general policy that congress should pass such national 
laws as the welfare of the whole people requires ; 
and, therefore, for such measures as the national 
child-labor law to end child labor throughout the 
entire republic, or such laws as those with which the 
progressive party proposes to handle the trust ques- 
tion, or the tariff muddle, or other phases of the ab- 
surd business situation in the United States. These 
are a few examples of national law-making growing 
out of the progressive party's principle of nationality. 

Both old parties are against this principle, this 
policy, and this class of legislation. Both old parties 
are against a national child-labor law, against the 
progressive party's method of dealing with the trust 
question, and straightening out our ridiculous busi- 
ness laws which so sadly hamper honest American 
business men and so heavily burden American pros- 

This is proved by the fact that the conventions of 
both old parties refused to put this broad national 
principle, this comprehensive national policy, and the 
specific measures growing out of that principle and 


What the Progressive Party Stands For. 

that policy, into their national platforms, although 
both old parties were asked to do so. 

Second — The progressive party stands for Thomas 
Jefferson's principle of the rule of the people; and, 
therefore, for the policy of the right of the people to 
pass on their own laws and public servants at any 
time they please; and, therefore, for such measures 
as the initiative, referendum, and recall, in every 
state of the whole country, or such measures as presi- 
dential primaries and other like legislation giving the 
people themselves the last word over their own 
affairs, instead of giving politicians and the evil 
interests back of them the last word over the people's 
affairs. As the people are the source of all power, 
the progressive party believes that when the people's 
two servants, the legislature and the courts, twice 
disagree as to what some part of the people's con- 
stitution means, then, after taking plenty of time to 
think it over, the people may decide what their own 
constitution really does mean, if they wish to do so. 
These are a few examples of popular-government 
lawmaking growing out of the progressive party's 
principle of the rule of the people. 

Both old parties are against this principle, this 
policy, and this class of legislation which the pro- 
gressive party will carry out when the people give it 
power to do so. This is proved by the fact that the 
old parties' conventions refused to put this broad 
principle of popular rule, this comprehensive popular 
policy, and the specific measures growing out of that 
principle and that policy into their national platforms, 
although both old parties were asked to do so. 

Third — The progressive party says that the doc- 
trine of the Manchester school that human labor is 
a commodity to be bought at the lowest possible 
market rate like wheat, coal, or machinery, and used 
up till its efficiency is exhausted, is unsound in 


What the Progressive Party Stands For. 

economics and vicious in morals; and we stand for 
the modern and opposite doctrine that laborers are 
as much a human element in our civilization as are 
merchants, or bankers, or anybody else. Therefore, 
we stand for the human policy in dealing with that 
tangle of present-day questions known as the labor 
problem ; and, therefore, we declare for the eight- 
hour day, the national ending of child labor, the 
peculiar care of women workers, and the entire list 
of social and industrial measures set forth in the 
social and industrial section of our platform. These 
are a few examples of humanitarian lawmaking 
growing out of the progressive party's principle of 
treating labor as a human force instead of a mere 
commodity. That both old parties are opposed to this 
principle, this policy, and this class of legislation, is 
proved by the fact that they both refused to adopt 
them in their national platforms, although asked to 
do so. 

The two old parties do not accept these three 
fundamental principles on which the progressive 
party is founded and are against the broad policies 
and the program of specific laws growing out of 
these fundamental principles. Read the platforms of 
the three parties and you will find that there is a 
good deal more reason for an amalgamation of the 
republican and democratic parties than for any sort 
of union between either of the old parties and the 
progressive party. And just that — the merger of 
the conservative republicans and democrats into a 
gnuine conservative party — is what should happen 
in the end. 



(By Peter Clark Macfarlane. Reprinted by permis- 
sion from Collier's Weekly of January 24, 1914.) 

Yes — judging by the anxiety writ so large upon 
the faces of republican leadership. One hears of con- 
ferences and camp fires, of consultations and mass 
meetings, or readjustments and reorganizations and 
reorientations ; of the ousting of leaders, of the retire- 
ment of issues, of the resuscitation of principles, of 
the knocking to pieces of platforms, of the burning 
up of old planks, of the hewing of new ones; of 
changing the rules, of altering representation, of 
shifting the line-up, of doing anything and every- 
thing that may enable the party to recover some- 
thing which it confesses itself to have lost. 


Stuck around in various nooks and corners of the 
news, hidden under tons of verbiage, and concealed 
among miles and miles of type, are incidents described 
with much circumlocution and delicacy of phrasing, 
which, baldly interpreted, shout loudly of stiff necks 
bowed down, of proud ears bent low, of haughty 
hearts grown humble, and even of Lucullan lords 
preparing, with such gusto as they may, to feed 
themselves full at banquet tables where the entire 
menu from soup to sassafras consists in one form or 
another of that fine old American political game 
bird, the crow. 

That, to the eye of the astute political observer, 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

the progressive party appears as a very lively possi- 
bility is advertised in many ways. 

It will be remembered that early in December the 
republicans of New York state held what they were 
pleased to call a mass meeting at the Waldorf- 
Astoria. The meeting, which was said to have been 
"remarkably representative," distinguished itself by 
swallowing whole as many planks from the pro- 
gressive platform as could be gorged conveniently at 
one time. 

The New York "Evening Post," commenting upon 
this meeting, began one sentence thus : That this 
action was in a large measure caused by pressure 
arising from the existence of the progressive party 
need not be denied. . . . 


The New York "World," referring to this same 
matter, and especially to the attitude of Senator Root, 
which was in such marked contrast to his position at 
another meeting of comparatively recent history, de- 
clared : He knows that the republican party was split 
because its leadership had failed to keep in sympathy 
with the masses. . . . 

Masses, in this connection, of course, could have 
no other meaning than a certain 4,280,886 particular 
persons who voted for Theodore Roosevelt for presi- 
dent of the United States last November a year. 

Upon such a showing alone it is easy enough to 
conclude that it is the judgment of a body of men 
who from time to time give evidence of supposing 
themselves to be the most astute body of politicians 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

in America that the progressive party, if dying, as 
they so loudly and so frequently proclaim, is passing 
away so slowly that a certain other party is in im- 
minent danger of shuffling off first. 

Even the democrats confess to feeling this pressure. 
When, a few weeks ago, the New York legislature 
was meekly hurrying into the statute books almost 
the identical direct primary law which in the spring 
months it had haughtily rejected, and in the course 
of the debate a republican senator had taunted a 
Tammany senator with his change of front, the Tam- 
many senator blurted out in reply : The Butt Moosers 
are the real causes of the action we are about to take 
on this bill. 


However, the question which this article proposes 
is quite too large a one — quite too important — to be 
decided offhand according to the behavior of a body 
of politicians who, no matter how bright they appear 
to themselves to be, have given proof that as diag- 
nosticians they shine best at a post mortem. 

There are, of course, all sorts of opinions afloat 
regarding the future of the progressive party. Some 
of these predict an early loss of its identity. Most 
of such opinions proceed from Washington, where 
they have had the republican party with them so long 
that it seems difficult to believe that it and the po- 
litical universe are not coterminous. Yet quite obvi- 
ously all that Washington can have on this subject 
is second-hand information. 

Quite obviously, too, much of the opinion begotten 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

there is fathered by hope which, as in the past, may 
prove itself ill-starred. 

What I have sought to gather, therefore, is a col- 
lection of grass-root opinions. These were picked 
up in the course of some 25,000 miles of travel, dur- 
ing which the continent was two times crossed in 
each direction, while twice the writer vibrated from 
the Mexican border to the top of the map, and once 
sloshed over into Canada. 

They are garnered from men of all parties and 
many classes — workingmen, professional men, busi- 
ness men. A few of them are the views of con- 
servatives and liberals in Calgary, Winnipeg, and 
Toronto — observers whose keen scrutiny of the trends 
and times in "the states" insures that their shrewd 
ex-parte opinions will be as instructive as they are 


My first discovery was the concrete existence of 
the party itself. The whole thing had been so recent, 
the movement so sudden, the incidents of the cam- 
paign so surcharged with the dramatic and the emo- 
tional, that it was almost natural to suppose that a 
few months after the election reaction would set in 
— that the men and women who voted for Roosevelt 
should think of themselves as a flying wedge of pro- 
test, and once the protest was over and the lesson 
administered, they would settle back into the repub- 
lican ranks, confident that their wishes were to be 
regarded in the future. This was an almost natural 
inference and undoubtedly explains the forwardness 
11 321 

Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

of the present republican party, whatever its extent, 
to say, and in a measure believe, that the new party 
is trickling back into the old. 

But this is quite clearly an expectation not justified. 
Everywhere I talked to the rank and file of the new 
organization it was absolutely astonishing to see how 
clear, in the line of their thinking, is the demarcation 
between the republican party and the progressive 
party. They are not to be regarded as republican in- 
surgents or republican protestants. No doubt there 
were such. No doubt some of these did drift back 
after the election and mentally ally themselves with 
the republican party. But there is no means of know- 
ing how many there were. And the significant thing 
is that I do not remember meeting personally in any 
one of the hundreds of conversations anywhere one 
who had voted for the progressive ticket and who an- 
nounced that he was returning to the republican 
party, and I did meet by the hundreds men and 
women who declared themselves to be permanent ad- 
herents of the progressive party. To them the pro- 
gressive party did not exist as a party of protest but 
as a party of advance. In joining it they had de- 
clared allegiance to something very new but very 
tangible and very vital — to espouse which had been 
for them to enter upon a new way of political life 
from which they could not turn back without betray- 
ing at once themselves and their times. 


The next thing observed was a sense of homo- 
geneity, a feeling of at-homeness with each other, a 
solidarity, a singularly adhesive group-consciousness 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

which had developed among them with astonishing 
rapidity. They flocked together easily. They worked 
together instinctively at the call, not so much of any 
leader as of any issue that offered opportunity for the 
application of advancement of any principle of pro- 
gressive doctrine. 

When there was no occasion to call them together 
I frequently found it the habit of the progressives of 
a community to meet, on principle, at a weekly or a 
monthly luncheon or dinner. The object of these 
meetings was not to discuss details of party manage- 
ment, not to divide the spoil, not to determine upon 
policies that might be popular, but for intelligent con- 
ference upon and discussion of pending legislative 
measures or of questions or principles of government. 
Incidentally, too, the meetings were apparently for 
fellowship, not so much social as moral and intel- 
lectual. Nor were these hymn-singing meetings. 
There was no evidence of gush, no trace of fanaticism. 
They were conferences of earnest persons seeking 
light upon a set of political problems which it is felt 
this age must solve. 

The effect of all this intelligent concentration of 
thought, not during the fever of a campaign, but in 
the quiet months of the year, seemed to me to be- 
speak a gathering element of tremendous force in the 
voting season. To observe such a meeting in a Cali- 
fornia city, for instance, where the progressives are 
in control — to see senators and assemblymen, judges 
from the bench, and public commissioners of various 
sorts mingling freely with their constituents, all with 
open mind and attentive ear — without guff or bun- 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

combe or shouting of shibboleths, addressing them- 
selves seriously to the broadest, the most scientific, 
the most patriotic consideration of questions of gov- 
ernment, was to rout pessimism from the heart and 
to revive a joyous faith in popular government. 


In fact, that is one of the most definite, forcible 
impressions made by these progressive gatherings. 
Their greatest faith after all is not in principles, and 
not in programs, but in people, in the ultimate ability 
of the popular mind to solve the popular problems. 

Their determination is, above all else, to so recon- 
struct party machinery and methods of making and 
interpreting and enforcing laws that the government 
may really be a government by the people. 

And theirs, I should say, is generally a long faith 
and not a short one; that is, they are not so much 
concerned that they shall win the next election as that 
they shall stand for their principle till it triumphs. 
This is a state of mind which persons who talk glibly 
of consolidating the two parties fall, I believe, to take 
into account. There is a kind of stubbornness mani- 
fested by these people. They are weary of being 
hoodwinked. Some of them are by no means hopeful 
of immediate victory. For this reason they are not 
going to be easily caught by any hook baited with 
compromise, by any argument for the sacrifice of 
principle in order to gain victory. They feel that too 
many empty victories have been won already. They 
would just as soon be on the losing side for a while 
till the opportunity to score a victory that is real 
comes to them. 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

Indeed, that sentiment is rather widespread today 
in the mind of the man at the bottom, regardless of 
his party affiliations. He is just about through with 
being pulled around by the nose. His attitude toward 
the turn of events is one of watchful waiting. He has 
not made up his mind yet, but he is thinking — think- 
ing — thinking — and while he waits with a patience so 
sublime that it may be misunderstood — he sits flexing 
the muscles of the mighty arm of his wrath. 

Certainly in the progressive party there is a big 
element which is going where it is going. If any- 
body else comes along, all right ; if not, still all right. 

That situation was rather clearly exemplified in 
the recent congressional election in Maine. This was 
Blaine's old district. After him it was Reed's. It was 
one of the most perfectly organized districts anywhere 
in the republican machine, and was campaigned by 
distinguished republicans of national fame and un- 
questioned progressive leanings. House-to-house visi- 
tations were made upon the progressives, in which the 
argument was freely employed that Roosevelt would 
be the nominee of the republican party in 1916. 
there's a party backbone and it works. 

The progressives themselves were not in shape to 
make a very vigorous campaign, and yet, in spite of 
the best efforts of the republicans, 6000 of these men 
went to the polls and cast progressive ballots. 

A similar situation was revealed in the Michigan 
election last spring, which was for a few state officers, 
not including the governorship. It is an initial prin- 
ciple of American political experience that a state or 
national ticket to bring out anything like the real 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

voting strength of the party must be backed by a full 
ticket right down the line — county, city, and township. 

In this election it is estimated that there was not 
one progressive township ticket in twenty-five, not 
one county ticket in fifteen, not one city ticket in 
twenty, and yet with nothing whatever to lead them 
to the polls save the desire to record their allegiance 
to the few state candidates of the party which they 
had so recently espoused, more than one hundred 
thousand men cast progressive ballots. 

It is from this feature, present in all elections held 
since the presidential campaign of 1912, that the pro- 
gressives have drawn so much of comfort and inspira- 
tion, notwithstanding the fact that many times their 
vote has fallen below the presidential vote of 1912. 
It all shows that, despite the still unorganized con- 
ditions, the vertebrae of a party backbone are there 
and articulating themselves by instinct. 

One of the most astonishing things to me about 
the movement as I traveled was the confidence 
everywhere displayed by its leaders. Surely these 
men had been in the movement long enough to shed 
all illusions of temporary zeal. The presidential 
vote of 1912 was millions under what they had hoped 
for. Almost every election since has had in it some 
seeds of disappointment as well as grounds of hope. 
Yet here was this enthusiastic faith in the future, 
topping all discomfitures and continually proving it- 
self genuine by a corresponding boldness of action. 


In California, where, under the name of republicans, 
the progressives have been in absolute control for 

Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

three years, they are deliberately abandoning the 
republican insignia, and Governor Johnson will make 
his campaign for re-election under the progressive 
name, with probably a republican and a democratic 
candidate opposed to him. 

In Kansas the progressives have carefully sawed 
off the limb between themselves and the republican 
tree. In South Dakota the same process is under 

In many places, indeed, republican attachments are 
being got rid of hastily as of something doubtful, not 
to say odious, and from Johnson on one coast to Bird 
upon the other, progressive leaders wear a smirk of 
confidence that is in revealing contrast to the gloom 
which sits upon the republican brow. The foundation 
of this confidence appears to be in part faith in the 
progressive issues and in part definite knowledge of a 
steady subsurface drift to the progressive party. 


I asked Progressive Congressman Roy O. Wood- 
ruff of the tenth Michigan district to give me some 
instances illustrative of this subsurface movement 
which all the party workers declare to be now going 

"Well," he answered without a moment's hesitation, 
"here are some in my district: In Iosco county the 
probate judge elected on the republican ticket is now 
the chairman of the progressive county committee; 
in Alcona county the chairman of the board of super- 
visors, elected on the republican ticket, is now the 
progressive county chairman; in Oceana county the 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

chairman and secretary of the republican committee 
have resigned to go into the progressive party; in 
Lake county, only last September the entire repub- 
lican committee resigned to come over to the pro- 
gressive party." 

"And that," he added, "I believe from what I hear 
in Washington, is only typical of a vast subsurface 
movement that is on all over the country." 

It reminded me of something I heard in Kansas, 
an event of last summer, but likewise significant. 
Will Allen White had been the chairman of the re- 
publican state central committee and national com- 
mitteeman from that state. When he resigned to 
enter the progressive party, a new chairman was 
chosen to succeed him. When the republican state 
committee met to consider some program of harmo- 
nizing the two parties, the first business it had to 
consider was a letter from this new chairman an- 
nouncing his resignation because he was that day 
entering the progressive party. 

But we may ourselves apply an independent test by 
examining the popular attitude toward those issues 
with which the progressive party is especially iden- 

Open-eyed self-examination; abandonment of fetish 
worship and political voodooism; solutions of today 
for problems of today; an "awakened sense of jus- 
tice" ; intelligent social sympathy, not socialism and 
not individualism gone mad; the perception of a hu- 
man vein from top to bottom of industry and of 
society; a frank recognition that every man for him- 
self and the devil take the hindmost is not the highest 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

refinement of justice of which this age is capable, 
nor with which it will be content — this was the spirit 
breathed by the progressive platform. He would be 
a pessimistic man indeed who did not find this spirit 
an expanding one in the United States at the present 

If we turn from a contemplation of the spirit of 
this platform to its distinctive and practical measures 
— something entirely different — we can form conclu- 
sions less general and more satisfactory. 


Take the tarifif. Let no one hastily conclude that 
the tarifif question was settled or forced out of pol- 
itics with the passage of the Underwood bill. It was 
not. (More's the pity.) The feeling is strong in 
some parts of the country that this was a very sec- 
tional settlement of the question, unjust because un- 
equal, and temporary in proportion as these inequal- 
ities become apparent. Farmers complain that the 
tarifif came ofif from all they sell and stayed on for 
all they buy. Manufacturers grumble. Workingmen 
cease to be employed. And yet the country will have 
none of high tarifif and the voters generally weary of 
the subject as a political issue. But even the dissatis- 
fied ones turn with hope to the tarifif plank of the 
progressive platform, which promised a definite down- 
ward revision, but proposed that it should be done 
scientifically as a piece of commercial expediency and 
not haphazard as to the galleries by political sharps. 

If we consider the trusts — it was here that the 
progressive platform was most distinctive and most 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

in advance, recognizing that big business, while not 
necessarily bad business, was potentially dangerous 
business. Just as the factory operative must have 
about him guards, controls, and safety appliances to 
protect him from the misdirected power of his own 
machine, so government must provide the checks, 
balances, controls, and safety appliances which shall 
insure that these new and mightier instruments of 
human progress shall keep place as servants of soci- 
ety and not its masters, as the helpers of mankind 
and not the despoilers thereof. 


To this end the progressive platform advocated 
in a modified form the La Follette idea of a huge 
industrial commission, which should have immense 
powers and rule the world of business as the inter- 
state commerce commission now rules the world of 

Judging from the news, this plan gains adherents 
every day. The hint even comes from Washington 
that some such proposal may blow up on the next 
breeze from the White House, and this notwithstand- 
ing certain speeches made by a certain gentleman dur- 
ing a certain campaign. 

Or turn to the whole subject of a closer hold of the 
people upon the reins of government, direct elections, 
direct primaries, short ballots, more carefully super- 
vised elections. Are not these the concessions which 
are everywhere being wrung from the weakening 
hands of the bosses? The initiative, the referendum, 
and the recall — does not each year bring a widening 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

recognition of these as legitimate and necessary in- 
struments of self-government in an enlightened de- 
mocracy ? Each day we hear of their employment, and 
he sees but ill who does not perceive within the zones 
of government where they exist, or where their mere 
proposal commands much adherence, both a better 
class of official service and a more alert and con- 
scientious electorate because of the greater sense of 
responsibility that comes with recognition of a grow- 
ing nearness to the throne of power. 

Take what seemed perhaps the rashest of pro- 
gressive planks — equal suffrage. Are there any to 
argue that the cause of equal suffrage is a less popu- 
lar issue today than it was eighteen months ago? 
Within the past year equal suffrage has had the 
serious consideration of twenty-eight legislatures. 
Illinois has granted it with a few limitations. Alaska 
has granted it. The legislatures of nine states, two 
of them the most populous in the union, have acted 
favorably upon proposals for suffrage amendments 
to the constitution. Yes, without a doubt the day 
of our sister in the voting booth is rapidly approach- 
ing, and the progressive party alone of the major 
national organizations holds out a hand to welcome 
her and advocates her cause. 

For our last look we may contemplate that whole 
program of human conservation which concerns itself 
with working conditions, wage conditions, safety, 
sanitation, compensation, etc., and generally manifests 
intelligent and sympathetic consideration for the hu- 
man element in industry, all of which is more fully 
and systematically embraced in the progressive plat- 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

form than elsewhere. Is not this a waxing issue? 
Are not the very hours instinct with a passionate 
determination to protect and conserve the health, 
prosperity, and happiness of our men and women who 


Surely, if these issues were good enough to com- 
mand the allegiance of several million voters in 1912, 
when all were obscured by a mephitic cloud of per- 
sonalities, they should win a much larger support in 
1916, when for four years every tick of the clock 
has been a beat of the drum for one plank or an- 
other of the progressive platform. 

And now it remains but to view the up-to-now 
achievements of the progressive party and judge of 
the strength of its strategic position, and we shall 
have facts enough upon which to base a reasonably 
satisfactory answer to our topical interrogatory. 

We come first, of course, upon the familiar facts of 
the progressive party's history: that it cast four and 
one-quarter million votes at the last presidential elec- 
tion ; that it has twenty representatives in congress ; 
that it is in absolute control of the governmental ma- 
chinery of two states, California and South Dakota; 
that it is in favorable position to gain control in cer- 
tain other states; that in New York state it has 
twenty assemblymen, while seven republican assem- 
blymen were elected with progressive indorsement, 
and twelve democrats, making thirty-nine votes that 
may be counted upon to take the right side of any 
progressive legislation; and that in practically every 
northern and western state there is a smaller or 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

larger group of progressive legislators never missing 
an opportunity to advertise the progressive position 
and solution on whatever piece of legislation is in 
the public eye. 


In 1912 the party had 182 congressional candidates 
in districts outside the south, but with no precinct 
organization whatever behind them except in two or 
three states ; and yet twenty of these candidates got 
into congress. In 1914 there will be a progressive 
candidate in each of the 293 districts outside of the 
south, and usually there will be an effective organiza- 
tion clear down to the precinct behind these candi- 
dates. There are 142 congressional districts in the 
south, and here, too, wherever conditions warrant, 
organization is going on and congressional candidates 
will be in the field. Even now expectations of sur- 
prising reversals of form in these supposedly hope- 
lessly democratic sections are being excited among 
those who are in closest touch with conditions on the 

In 1916 it is the expectation of the party leaders to 
have a national organization absolutely complete 
down to the last precinct, and to have a congres- 
sional candidate in every district in the United States, 
supported by a full local ticket in all where there is 
the slightest prospect of success. 

Concluding our broad survey, we are forced to the 
conviction that nothing political seems more certain 
just now than that the progressive party will survive. 
About all that remains for consideration are the con- 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

tinued proposals of the republican party to the pro- 
gressive party that the latter kindly cease to exist. 
The progressive leaders have emphatically declined 
these proposals. The only question, therefore, is 
whether the republican party can devise a platform 
and set up a candidate that will lure the progressive 
rank and file out from under their leaders. In other 
words, the problem before the republican managers is 
this : Having themselves touched the match to the 
powder magazine, can they undo the explosion? 

Truly, their case is desperate enough. 

Seventeen republican United States senators will 
come up for election in 1914. Every republican rep- 
resentative must face his constituents at the same 
time. Judging from elections held since 1912, about 
one republican in four or five may hope to be re- 
turned. This is almost equivalent to annihilation. No 
wonder the republican leaders bestir themselves. 
Many, and often silly, are the proposals advanced. 
Recent utterances and deliberations and determina- 
tions, however, seem to make clear that the republi- 
can leadership has not yet even sensed the temper of 
the popular mind upon the political issues of the day. 


They read love's shining letter in the rainbow of 
the ballots and see themselves nominated for the 
rear, and that is about all. Their highest statesman- 
ship is not even a convention of the party which will 
enable the membership to express itself, but instead 
a few dark-room conferences and a few grudging 
concessions. Present indications are that the party 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

strategy will be to drift and harry the administration 
flanks. In various states they will try out the popu- 
lar sentiment by adopting one and another of the pro- 
gressive issues, testing at the same time the sentiment 
of the most conservative of their own party. Their 
problem is, find how much progressivism will be nec- 
essary to woo back the progressives, and, second, 
how much progressivism they can incorporate with- 
out alienating their own ultraconservative elements. 
Many of the progressive issues when looked at 
coolly and fairly by republicans generally are not 
so objectionable as once they seemed, nor does 
Theodore Roosevelt, viewed in the perspective of a 
South American jungle, appear so objectionable as 
once he appeared. This last is very noticeable in the 
middle west, where there is a distinct drift to Roose- 
velt on the part of financial and corporate interests 
that were bitter against him. Part of this is because 
with calmer thinking comes a better judgment; part 
is because of the vague, unreasoning remembrance 
that when Roosevelt was president were the most 
prosperous years the country has ever known, and 
part is due to the fact that, as between the growing 
absolutism of Woodrow Wilson in the White House 
and the big-stick methods of Roosevelt, they prefer 
the latter rather because they think they know his 
worst, while they have by no means made up their 
minds what this cool person at present sitting on the 
throne of power might not do if he only get a con- 
science upon the subject. I do not know that this dis- 
position is complimentary to the colonel, and I do not 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

know that it is uncomplimentary to the president, but 
I do know it is a fact. 


But while there is talk that the republican party will 
nominate Roosevelt in 1916, it may be taken for 
granted that the present party managers will not 
sponsor such a thing if they can possibly help them- 
selves, and to guard against having such a contin- 
gency forced upon them from below may be one 
reason for the announced decision to limit the nom- 
ination by primary to those states in which it is pre- 
scribed by law. 

Yet even supposing that in order to save face and 
secure a hanging-on place in the government for the 
next few years they were willing to swallow this bitter 
pill, they might about as well join the progressives 
and be done with it, aside from the possible preser- 
vation of the party name, for it must be remembered 
that the progressive platform of 1912 was almost the 
personal platform of Theodore Roosevelt. As he 
made it emphatically clear that he would not accept a 
nomination from the progressive party if it did not 
indorse his personal platform, it must be clear that he 
could not do otherwise than demand the same plat- 
form from the republican party. Query — then, if the 
republican party accepted the progressive platform 
entire, would not so much of its Tory blood refuse to 
indorse it that progressives and republicans combined 
would be too few to carry an election; and since the 
sole object of the republicans is to win the election, if 


Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

they cannot win by taking Roosevelt and his plat- 
form, why take Roosevelt at all ? 

What I seem to see an excellent chance of, at this 
distance from 1916, is the republican leadership — 
blind, timid, self-deceived, with a patched-up plat- 
form and a patched-up candidate — parading once 
more before the American people, flaunting issues that 
cnce had life but now have none, going through the 
forms of a campaign shouting the old shibboleths, 
parading the old ghosts, giving a final and convincing 
demonstration that this great history maker is itself 
no more proof against corroding time than other par- 
ties have been. 

Its vote will be smaller than in 1912, but, neverthe- 
less considerable, the final tribute which old men pay 
to a relic, as to the sword they have carried or the 
uniform they have worn. 

But the republican party as a party will face the 
hour of its final dissolution. 

It has had great issues — and they were the very 
greatest! It solved them with high courage, with 
patriotism, with statesmanship, with honor to the na- 
tion and blessing to mankind. But because it has 
done the old job it cannot do the new. This is the 
very philosophy of life. Its organization crystallized 
round the deeds of its day. That day and its deeds 
are both gone. New issues have arisen, and the party 
has no new solutions. It does not even know that 
they are new issues. It cannot pull the load. It is a 
hunter that has refused the leap. It is an instrument 
which no longer lends itself to use. It goes the way 
of all flesh and of all parties. 
12 M7 

Will the Progressive Party Survive? 

Honor to its glorious past. Honor to its brilliant 
names. Reverence for its mighty martyrs ! — of whom 
almost there had been another. Respect for its local 
adherents — where they are men whom we can respect 
— but for its remains, a wreath and a mausoleum! 
Its blades are battered; its arteries hardened; its 
blood is water. Its day is done. 

As to the progressive organization, if its present 
attitude toward the man continues, there is no power 
but Roosevelt himself, which can prevent him from 
being the presidential nominee of that party. Whether 
a victory for the progressives is possible in 1916 
must depend upon how large a following marches 
with the funeral cortege, and upon the success before 
the people of the administration of Woodrow Wilson, 
concerning which it is entirely too early to predicate, 
since there are yet more than three years of demo- 
cratic waters to babble under the bridge.